Virginia law requires the majority of employers to carry workers’ comp insurance, which is responsible for compensating ill or injured workers. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.
If you suffered a work-related injury, you’ll need to find out whether you qualify for workers’ compensation in Virginia. So who is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and what does workers’ comp cover?
Who Must Carry Workers’ Comp in Virginia?
The vast majority of employers in Virginia must purchase workers’ comp coverage if they employ more than two workers. This includes:
- Part-time workers
- Temporary workers, including out-of-state workers
- Employees under 18
- Family members
- A subcontractor’s employees (for contractors)
Exceptions to Workers’ Comp Coverage Laws
Workers’ compensation laws in Virginia exempt:
- Companies with up to two employees
- Sole proprietors with no employees
- Domestic help, like babysitters, house cleaners, and nursing aides
- Independent contractors
If you’re not a legal professional, it can be hard to determine at a glance whether you may qualify for workers’ compensation in Virginia. For example, your employer may classify you as an independent contractor to avoid workers’ comp payouts, when in fact you’re an employee. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can assess your case and let you know whether you may file a workers’ comp claim.
What Workers’ Compensation Covers in Virginia
A workers’ compensation settlement in Virginia may cover:
- Medical bills, including hospitalization costs, doctor’s visits, prescription meds, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and reimbursement for travel costs to and from medical appointments.
- Disability benefits depending on the degree and permanency of your injury: Temporary Partial Disability, Temporary Total Disability, Permanent Partial Disability, or Permanent Total Disability.
- Death benefits, including partial wages and funeral and burial expenses, for the spouse and dependents of an employee who lost their lives in a work-related accident.
When to Report a Workplace Accident and File for Workers’ Comp
If you experience an injury on the job, report the incident to your employer or immediate supervisor right away. Waiting more than 30 days to notify your employer may disqualify you from filing a claim. Your employer must file an official report within 10 days of your notice.
If you suffer from a work-related disease, you have two years from the diagnosis or five years from the last exposure to file a claim, whichever occurs sooner.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Workers’ Comp Claim?
We strongly recommend consulting an experienced attorney before you begin the workers’ comp process, especially if you suffered a serious injury and expect to miss many days of work. You’ll need a skilled workers’ comp attorney to advocate for your rights and handle the compensation process for you while you focus on recovery.
Your workers’ comp lawyer can:
- Improve your chances of recovering compensation. Workers’ comp insurance providers may try to deny your claim or downplay the extent of your injuries. An experienced lawyer will work hard to build a compelling case and forward your claim.
- Protect your rights. Your workers’ comp lawyer can defend your civil rights in case your employer exercises any unlawful penalties against you for pursuing a workers’ comp claim.
- Deal with a denied claim and help you file an appeal.
Geoff McDonald & Associates: Assertive Legal Support for Workers’ Comp Claims in Virginia
Did you suffer a work-related injury or illness? An experienced attorney can help you understand how workers’ compensation in Virginia works, handle your claim, and represent your rights throughout the workers’ comp process.
At Geoff McDonald & Associates, we support the rights of injured workers and their families across Virginia. Call (804) 409-0821 or contact us online to schedule a quick, free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.