Most Virginia workers are covered by the workers’ compensation insurance program. If they get hurt on the job or get sick because of work conditions, they are usually eligible for certain benefits. The injured worker or the family of a worker who was killed should be able to fill out a few forms and, after a few weeks, begin receiving checks.
Unfortunately, it often does not work that easily. Many claims are unfairly denied, and many settlements are too low. In other cases the worker’s injury, recovery or declining health complicate the case. This is when an experienced lawyer from Geoff McDonald & Associates can help.
Just call Geoff. We can stand by your side from the start of a workers’ comp claim, when you appeal a denied claim or at any time when you encounter problems with your benefits.
Help from a Workers’ Comp Attorney in Virginia
Workers’ compensation insurance has complex rules. There are several ways an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you obtain a settlement that fully meets your needs.
Just a few things an attorney from Geoff McDonald & Associates can do for you include:
Make sure the claim is complete and accurate. A workers’ compensation benefits application requires completing forms with personal information; information about your employer; descriptions of your job and pay; your injury and when, where and how it happened; medical treatment you have received, including where and when; and plenty more. If something is missing or there is conflicting information, your claim may be delayed or denied.
Seek benefits if your employer has no workers’ compensation insurance. In many cases, if an employer does not have workers’ comp insurance, you can still obtain benefits from Virginia’s Uninsured Employers Fund. You may then seek additional compensation by suing your employer. A corporation that lacks workers’ compensation coverage, along with its president, secretary and treasurer, may be liable to you.
Ensure a pre-existing condition does not hurt your claim. A partial disability, chronic illness or other pre-existing condition may greatly complicate your workers’ comp claim. It may affect how your new injury is perceived and lead to a reduction in your workers’ comp settlement.
Appeal a denied claim. Many claims are initially denied. Sometimes it’s because of easily corrected problems. If you have been denied benefits, we can review your application, help you develop a stronger case and provide you with experienced legal representation throughout the appeals process.
Help you meet deadlines and other obligations. “Case management” is a big part of a workers’ compensation claim. There are strict deadlines for reporting an injury to the employer and the Workers’ Compensation Commission, filing a claim and appeals of claim decisions. You must follow rules that require you to see a specified doctor, keep appointments and follow the doctor’s recommendations for treatment. We can help you keep track of deadlines and appointments, and we can file forms for you.
Help you get proper medical treatment. You must choose a doctor from a panel of physicians presented by your employer and see that doctor for treatment if you are seeking workers’ compensation. But you can still see your own doctor. We can help you find a doctor who understands workers’ compensation in Virginia and who will keep your best interests in mind. For example, your employer’s doctor may say you’re ready to return to work, but your doctor may believe otherwise. We can help you obtain a ruling that ensures your benefits continue and you can fully recover.
Challenge a disability rating. In cases of lasting injury, the doctor eventually decides when recovery has progressed as far as can be expected and assigns a permanent partial disability rating. This rating determines your final workers’ compensation benefit. We can help you challenge a rating if it does not provide a fair settlement.
Reopen an existing claim. If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits for a disability that becomes worse or a medical condition that changes, you may have the right to change your settlement. Petitioning to reopen a settled claim requires showing a medical need for additional treatment and a change in the level of disability. Since more benefits represent an additional cost to the employer, you can expect a challenge to your request.
Let Our Virginia Workers’ Comp Attorneys Manage Your Claim
At Geoff McDonald & Associates, we can help you receive the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve and continue to receive them as long as they are needed. Our workers’ compensation attorneys and case managers are dedicated to your case’s individual circumstances.
Call us or fill out our online contact form now to set up a free, no-obligation claim review for more information about how we can help you.
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