If you have been hurt on the job or suffered a work-related illness, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Under Virginia law, most workers who suffer an injury or illness connected to work may receive payment of medical bills and disability benefits. Families of those who were killed in a workplace accident may be entitled to death benefits.
Getting the benefits you deserve should be a fair process. But that’s not always the case. Employers’ insurance companies often look out for their own best interests – instead of those of employees who need to make ends meet while out of work. Insurers often try to minimize the workers’ compensation claim or deny it outright.
Don’t give up on your workers’ compensation claim. Just call Geoff. The lawyers at Geoff McDonald & Associates understand Virginia workers’ compensation law. We’ve helped hundreds of people just like you get the benefits they need and have already earned.
Call our Richmond, Virginia workers’ compensation lawyers today for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys can answer your questions, such as:
- Am I entitled to workers’ compensation for my workplace injuries?
- What do I need to do to recover workers’ compensation benefits?
- What should I do if my claim is denied?
- How can a lawyer help after a workplace injury in Virginia?
Benefits for Work-Related Injuries & Diseases
Workers’ compensation provides broad protection. Unlike personal injury claims, negligence – either your own or your employer’s – does not have an impact on your claim. In other words, you don’t have to show that your employer did anything wrong. You may be eligible for benefits even if the accident was partly or entirely your fault.
Under Virginia law, you may receive benefits for any injury that happened as a direct result of your job, even if that injury happened away from your normal worksite.
For example, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if:
- You were in an accident on the job. This includes car accidents that happen while you are working. However, crashes while commuting are usually not covered.
- You developed carpal tunnel syndrome.
- You got sick due to exposure to toxins at work, such as chemicals, asbestos or lead.
Claiming Compensation for a Workplace Injury or Illness
After a workplace injury, you should get prompt medical help and give notice of the injury to your employer as soon as possible.
Getting medical help right away is important to address your injury or illness. You will also need documentation of your medical condition and how it was related to your work.
Notifying your employer is important to protect your right to workers’ compensation benefits. You have just 30 days to let your employer know about your injury or you could be denied benefits.
A lawyer at Geoff McDonald & Associates can help you provide written notice and include details to increase the likelihood your claim will be approved. Hiring an attorney is especially important at this stage if your injury arose from toxic exposure or you think it was due to repetitive stress. It can be more difficult to prove that these injuries were caused by your job.
Employers have to file a First Report of Injury (FROI) with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission within 10 days after serious injury or death (30 days for minor injuries). You should then receive an Award Agreement from the insurer explaining your benefits. If an award is not entered, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim.
You should not have to do anything to receive benefits other than alert your employer about your injury. Unfortunately, things don’t always work that way.
Claims are often denied, benefits are not paid on time or in full, and injured workers are pressured to go back work before they are ready. Geoff McDonald & Associates can handle these issues for you – without collecting attorney’s fees unless and until we secure compensation for you.
What to Do If a Claim for Benefits is Denied
If your claim for workers’ comp benefits is denied, you can appeal.
There are multiple stages of appeal, including a Request for Hearing before a workers’ compensation judge. This is similar to a court hearing but is handled by the Workers’ Compensation Commission and the judge is called a Deputy Commissioner.
There are procedural requirements for appeals, so it is a smart choice to get help from a lawyer who has focused his practice on workers’ compensation claims. At Geoff McDonald & Associates, we have more than 20 years of experience helping injured workers.
Get Help from a Richmond, Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
When you’ve suffered a workplace injury and need workers’ compensation benefits, our attorneys will fight to get you the money you deserve for lost wages, medical costs and fees, vocational rehabilitation or retraining.
- We make it our job to understand your individual needs and circumstances.
- We know the system, and we’ll guide you through it to obtain the maximum workers’ compensation and other benefits you’re eligible for.
- We’ll make sure you’re fully informed and educated about your case at every step of the way.
At Geoff McDonald & Associates, our team of aggressive and experienced workers’ compensation attorneys and case managers focus on you. We have the information and resources to help both union and non-union workers get the compensation they deserve. We know firsthand how insurance companies often deny valid workers’ compensation claims or stall the process so that you simply give up. We won’t let that happen to you.
The consultation is free and there are no strings attached.
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On September 4, 2019 by Caitlyn Beckner
In Virginia, an employee who suffers an injury at work may be entitled to certain workers’ compensation benefits, based on several factors that determine whether the injury is a “compensable” claim (i.e., whether the injury should be covered by workers’ compensation insurance, or not). When determining whether an…