While workers’ compensation should cover a good portion of your expenses, you may find that the insurance company may not offer you all of what you may need. It is important to obtain the sound legal counsel of an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation cases to ensure that you receive the full amount that you are entitled to by law. Don’t risk having your claim denied because you tried to file on your own. A Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer from Agnew & Rosenberger, PLLC can make sure that your claim is filed properly and with the correct documentation so that you can collect a fair amount of compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and lost income.
Your employer can offer you a position with modified job duties at a slightly reduced rate of pay. If there is no alternate employment available, they may have to provide you with vocational rehabilitation services, which can get you the training, education, and other resources needed for you to find another occupation.
Many people assume that the state pays for benefits, but worker’s compensation benefits are actually paid by private insurance companies that work with your employer. In most states, employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance in case one of their employees is hurt on the job. Failure to carry insurance can result in fines, prosecution, and the employer’s personal liability for an accident.
There are a number of injuries that happen gradually and which are often overlooked by employees. These include hand and wrist injuries, hearing loss, heart and lung problems, back pain and hernias, and eye injuries. These injuries are typically caused by repeated strain or exposure to airborne chemicals and other irritants. Depending on your injury, workers’ compensation may or may not provide benefits. Consult with a lawyer from Agnew & Rosenberger, PLLC to see if your injury makes you eligible for workers’ compensation.
ou may be able to make a workers’ compensation claim for any injury that occurs at work while you are performing your work-related duties. Your injury must have occurred suddenly and at one specific time; injuries sustained through repeated trauma are not covered (for example, carpal tunnel syndrome or hearing loss), but illnesses due to repeated trauma may be covered.
You cannot collect compensation if your injury arose due to willful misconduct, failure to utilize provided safety tools, failure to follow one of your employer’s rules that you knew about, or if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time you were injured.
According to the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, Inc., your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance pays for the following benefits:
- Temporary or partial disability benefits. If you are no longer able to do any of the work that your employer offers, you may be able to collect two thirds of your average weekly pay for up to 500 weeks. If you return to work in a lighter duty position with a lower wage, you can collect two thirds of the difference between your old and new wage.
- Permanent total disability benefits. You may be eligible to collect permanent benefits if you suffered the loss of both hands, arms, legs, feet, eyes, or any combination in the same accident, or if your accident caused total paralysis or severe brain injury.
- Death benefits. A surviving spouse may be able to collect benefits for lost wages. The employer will also cover burial expenses up to $10,000.
- Lifetime medical benefits. Any care you may need for your injury will be covered for as long as it is needed, providing that you cooperate with your medical treatment and see an employer-approved doctor.
- Permanent partial disability benefits. You can receive partial disability benefits for the permanent loss of a body part for a limited period of time.
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits. If you are cleared for a light duty job, you may be entitled to retraining.