As someone suffering from a work injury, you deserve to know the types of Virginia workers compensation benefits available to you. Getting these benefits won’t be easy. The insurance company and its army of attorneys and claims adjuster may do everything they can to keep you from recovering. That’s why having a skilled Virginia workers compensation lawyer to guide you through the claims process can be invaluable.
If You Were Hurt in a Work Accident or Diagnosed with an Occupational Illness, You May be Entitled to Many Types of Virginia Workers Compensation Benefits.
Workers compensation is often the last line of defense for injured workers and their families. With workers compensation, the injured employee has a chance at a full recovery and may be able to avoid financial ruin. Without it, he or she may lose their ability to return to their pre-injury employment and suffer financial hardship from which it may take years to recover.
Workers compensation is a state-mandated social insurance program. Virginia workers compensation is separate from workers comp programs offered in other states and by the federal government.
Virginia has its own Workers Compensation Act, Workers’ Comp Commission, and rules and regulations. That’s why it’s important to get help from an attorney who focuses on workers compensation in Virginia, not somewhere else. The laws and available workers compensation benefits vary from state to state.
Usually an employee is eligible for Virginia workers compensation benefits if they can prove an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of their employment. Generally it doesn’t matter who was at fault – the injured worker, a coworker, the employer, or a third-party. But that’s not always the case. In exchange for not having to prove negligence to receive benefits, employees give up the right to sue the employer in civil court for personal injuries.
An Explanation of Virginia Workers Compensation Benefits
This article is your guide to Virginia workers compensation benefits. This page and the articles it links to explain the different work comp benefits available to you and your family in Virginia.
The workers comp benefits available will vary depending on your injury and its severity. Usually they include medical benefits, wage replacement benefits, permanent disability compensation, and other services to help you recover and return to work.
You can increase your chance of obtaining these workers compensation benefits and a workers compensation settlement by retaining an experienced Virginia workers compensation lawyer with a record of success. Call Corey Pollard, named a Rising Star Attorney by Virginia Super Lawyers Magazine and his peers, for a free consultation and to get started on your path to workers’ comp benefits. Our job injury law firm has helped hundreds of injured workers get the benefits they deserve.
Medical Treatment for Your Work Injury
If you prove that your work injury is covered under the Virginia Workers Compensation Act, the employer and its insurance company must pay for all your reasonable, necessary, and authorized medical treatment related to the work injury. This includes the following: surgical procedures; doctors’ visits; nursing care; physical and occupational therapy; prescription medication; co-payments; mileage to and from your medical appointments and pharmacy visits; and, medical devices and appliances that are prescribed by your doctor.
You will receive lifetime medical benefits if you prove your injury is covered by workers’ comp. It doesn’t matter if you need treatment many years later. The insurance company must pay for it so long as your treatment is reasonable, necessary, and causally related. We see this situation happen often in cases involving total knee, hip, and shoulder replacements.
Click on the link for more information on lifetime medical treatment under Virginia workers compensation.
Income Benefits, Also Known Lost Wage Benefits
When you’re hurt on the job, you not only have to deal with physical pain and depression but also how to pay for food, shelter, and other basic needs for your family. The employer’s insurance company will send you a weekly check for 2/3 of your average weekly wage if your work injury claim is accepted or approved by the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission. These benefits are known as temporary total disability benefits.
Usually temporary total disability payments will continue until you are released to return to full duty, actually return to work, or get 500 weeks of benefits.
If you return to light duty work, but are suffering wage loss, you may be entitled to temporary partial disability benefits. This work comp benefit is equal to 2/3 of the difference between your pre-injury average weekly wage and your light duty wages.
Those of you who suffer catastrophic work injuries that impact two or more extremities or cause brain damage may qualify for permanent total disability benefits. These benefits are not capped and can continue for the rest of your lifetime. They are equal to your temporary total disability compensation rate.
Be careful when agreeing to an average weekly wage. Insurance companies often make mistakes calculating the wage loss compensation rate that injured workers are entitled to. An experience work comp attorney will make sure you get the highest compensation rate possible by getting you the highest average weekly wage possible.
We will also deal with any delays regarding receipt of your benefit checks and ask for penalties for late payment of benefits. We know how important these benefits are to you and your family.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits for Permanent Impairment and Loss of Use
Injured workers are entitled to permanent partial disability benefits if they sustain permanent impairment to certain body parts because of their workplace accident.
Your workers’ compensation attorney will schedule you for an evaluation with a physician when you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). The physician will then give you a permanent impairment rating (PPD rating) based on the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairments.
This PPD rating is equal to a specific amount of compensation depending on the body parts you injured in the workplace accident. We help make sure you get a rating, that the rating is correct, and that you receive permanent partial disability benefits for loss of use, amputation, scarring, and disfigurement following a catastrophic injury.
Virginia Workers’ Compensation Settlements
In Virginia a workers compensation settlement is called a “Compromise Settlement and Release.” You can ask the insurance company for a lump sum settlement at any time, even before you go to hearing or the deputy commissioner issues a decision.
Sometimes the insurance company will approach you about settlement. But more often your attorney will have to reach out to them. Neither party is obligated to settle, it a voluntary process.
There are many ways to structure a settlement. Some Virginia workers compensation settlements close out medical coverage, which means you will no longer receive workers’ compensation checks or medical care. You are responsible for all future medical care under that option. Other settlements involve a one-time lump sum payment plus continued medical care for life or a specific period. We have obtained many workers compensation settlements for injured workers in Virginia.
Unfortunately workplace accidents sometimes lead to the injured worker’s death. Surviving family members who were dependent on the deceased worker’s income may receive workers’ compensation death benefits in Virginia. Fatal work injury lawyer and wrongful death lawyer Corey Pollard can help you through this difficult time following the loss of a loved one. If the employee’s injury was caused by someone else, it may be possible to have workers’ comp and third-party claims.
We Are In It Together – Fighting For Your Virginia Workers Compensation Benefits
These are just some of the Virginia workers compensation benefits that may be available after your work accident. You may also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation services and home accommodations. Whether you are is determine on a case-by-case basis.
If you have questions about your case, call or e-mail Virginia workers comp lawyer Corey Pollard for a free consultation. We’re ready to fight for you.