Have you been injured at work and your workers’ compensation claim has been denied? Contacting an experienced workers compensation attorney can be an important step as you try to obtain benefits for your work-related injury or illness.
The licensed attorneys at Geoff McDonald and Associates have recovered more than $400 million in compensation for Virginia injury victims over more than 20 years of service, including a $1,250,000 jury verdict for a truck driver that was assaulted while refueling his logging truck while at work, and a $300,000 lump sum settlement for a client who suffered severe burns on the job. Our CEO and President Attorney Geoff McDonald has successfully handled hundreds of cases and represented teamsters unions and the IBEW in workers’ compensation matters and legal disputes. Geoff is also a member of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and a recipient of the prestigious National Trial Lawyers – Top 100 award.
Our Richmond workers compensation lawyers offer a free, confidential consultation and there are no attorney’s fees unless we recover compensation for your claim.
No upfront fees. Ph: (866) 369-9051.
How Do I Know if I Qualify for Benefits?
Under Virginia law, employers with at least three part-time or full-time employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. The employer does not have to be a business, as churches, non-profits and charities with three or more employees are also required to provide coverage.
The law also says minors, family members working for a business, along with corporate officers and LLC managers who do not perform regular work or earn a salary may all qualify for workers’ compensation.
Your employer may have designated you as an independent contractor, but this does not matter when it comes to eligibility for workers’ compensation. If you suffer a work-related injury, there are four factors that will be considered to determine if you may be eligible for workers’ compensation:
- Who has control over how work is performed?
- Could the employer fire you?
- Can you be hired?
- Are you paid for your work?
If your employer has control of your work, you may be eligible for benefits.
If you are an eligible employee, you may receive benefits after suffering an injury from an accident arising out of and in the course of employment.
You may also be eligible if you suffer an occupational disease (Virginia § 65.2-400). There are six things your attorney must prove to establish a connection between the disease and your work.
Usually, you need to have been injured at the work site to be eligible for benefits. However, you may be eligible for benefits for an injury that occurred offsite if you were doing work when it occurred, such as making a delivery or running a work-related errand. Generally, injuries that occur in car accidents while commuting to work or going home are not covered by Virginia’s workers’ compensation system.
If you are not sure about the eligibility of your claim, it is important to contact a licensed Richmond workers’ compensation attorney at Geoff McDonald & Associates as soon as possible. We are prepared to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you may need to make a healthy recovery.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The workers’ compensation system provides compensation for medical care related to your injury, which may include:
- Hospital stays
- Doctor visits
- Physical therapy
- Mileage reimbursement for traveling to or from a doctor’s office
Injured workers may also be eligible for disability benefits, which cover a portion of lost wages from missed time at work, or your inability to work in the same capacity as before your injury.
There are four different types of disability benefits provided by the Virginia workers’ compensation system:
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) – These benefits are for employees who are recovering and able to return to work in a lesser role or work fewer hours than they worked before. TPD benefits supplement lost earnings during this period when you cannot work at full capacity.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) – If you are unable to work at all during your recovery, you may be eligible to receive 66 and two-thirds percent of your regular wages, which are based on your earnings for the 52 weeks before your injury.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) – If your injury leaves you permanently unable to work in the same capacity as before, you may be eligible to receive 66 and two-thirds percent of your average weekly wage. Benefits are paid for a certain number of weeks depending on the injury suffered.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD) – These benefits may be awarded if you suffer permanent or total incapacity from: loss of use of both hands, arms, feet, legs or any combination of the two in the same accident; injury resulting in total paralysis; or brain injury so severe the employee is permanently unemployable in gainful employment. PTD benefits are 66 and two-thirds percent of your average weekly wage, with a minimum of 25 percent of the average weekly wage in the state and no more than 100 percent.
Death Benefits – If an employee dies in a work accident, his or her dependents may be eligible to receive 66 and two-thirds percent of the workers’ average weekly wage, along with up to $10,000 in burial expenses and up to $1,000 in reasonable transportation expenses. The duration of benefits depends on your level of dependence on the deceased.
Schedule your free case review with an experienced Richmond workers’ compensation attorney by calling (866) 369-9051.
Deadlines for Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims
Seeking immediate medical attention after experiencing your workplace injury should be your priority. You need doctors to diagnose your injuries and begin appropriate treatment. You are required to choose a doctor from a panel of three doctors chosen by your employer or its insurance carrier. Once you begin treatment you cannot change doctors without the approval of your employer or workers’ comp insurance carrier or a hearing by the workers’ compensation commission.
You should report the injury to your employer right away, even though you have up to 30 days from the date of the injury to do so (if you miss the deadline you may lose the right to file a claim). Waiting to file could cause your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer to question whether your injury is work-related.
Employers are required to file a report on the injury or illness within 10 days. You have two years from the date of the accident to file a workers’ compensation claim. You can file a claim in person, via mail, by fax or online.
If you have an occupational disease, you must file a claim within two years of the date a doctor tells you about the disease or five years from the date you were last exposed to the condition that caused the disease, whichever date is sooner.
Have questions about your claim? Call to set up a free consultation with a Richmond workers’ compensation attorney.
What if my Claim Was Denied?
Sometimes employers or their insurers deny claims for various reasons. They might question whether your injury is related to your work.
You can have your workers’ compensation lawyer file a written request for a hearing with the workers’ compensation commission. The hearing is an opportunity for your Richmond workers’ compensation lawyer to present testimony, witnesses and medical reports to overturn the denial.
If the commission does not overturn the denial, you can request a review of the decision within 30 days of it being made.
Contact a Richmond Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
Our experienced attorneys understand the difficulties families face when a loved one is injured and unable to return to work, including mounting medical bills and loss of income from missing work.
We are committed to recovering compensation for medical care, disability and vocational rehabilitation and retraining. We have the resources and legal knowledge needed to help both union and non-union employees through every step of the process. We know how insurance companies try to deny workers’ compensation claims and how to build strong cases for our clients.
The initial consultation is confidential and free of charge and we do not charge any legal fees unless we recover compensation for your claim.
Our office is a 15-minute drive from St. Mary’s Hospital on Stony Point Parkway.
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