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The Richmond workers' compensation lawyers at Commonwealth Law Group consult with and represent many injured workers each year. We answer claimants' questions about Virginia workers' comp laws and how loopholes in this complex law may impact their benefits. In a previous post, we addressed four commonly asked questions that workers' compensation claimants ask when they contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. That blog was so popular that we're answering five more questions you may have after being hurt at work in Virginia:
What costs are covered by Worker's Compensation? If you are injured during the normal course and scope of work and your claim is accepted, your employer's workers' compensation insurance will cover specific costs, including:
- Reimbursement of medical treatment costs including hospital and doctors' bills, and other expenses necessary to diagnose and treat your specific injury
- Compensation for wages lost due to the injury and during your recovery time
- Compensation for any permanent impairment caused by the injury
- Compensation if your injury diminishes or eliminates your ability to work to earn a living
- Payment for retraining to learn new job skills that are within your post-injury capabilities
Will I receive Workers' Compensation benefits if the accident was my fault?
Many occupations, including manufacturing, construction and warehouse work, are inherently dangerous. Though workplace safety is a priority for most employers, accidents inevitably happen. The Virginia Workers' Compensation Act provides benefits to employees who have been hurt at work regardless of who was at fault for the accident and injury. However, there are extenuating circumstances under which an employee won't be eligible for benefits. For example, self-inflicted injuries, injuries that occur because the employee is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs and injuries that happen while the employee is violating a company policy (such as not wearing a hard hat) may not be covered.
After I recover from a workplace injury, will I get my old job back?
The answer is: maybe. If you recover from your injury to the point where you are capable of performing the same type of work you previously did, your employer may choose to give you your old job back. However, your employer is not legally obligated to do so.
What if I get fired while receiving Workers' Compensation benefits?
This is a complex issue, with two main scenarios:
- If your employer fires you because you can no longer perform your regular job duties due to the injury sustained while working – which employers can legally do – you will continue to receive workers' compensation benefits for a maximum of 500 weeks until your treating physician issues you a full duty release.
- If your doctor has given you a light duty release and you are fired for "justified cause," such as violating a company policy, you will not be entitled to receive workers' compensation checks. Whether or not an employee was terminated for justified cause is a common source of litigation.
Do I need to consult a Workers' Compensation attorney to help me with my claim?
Every workers' compensation claim is unique. Claims can become complex depending on the type and extent of your injury. Consulting with an experienced workers' compensation attorney is one of the first things we recommend that an injured employee should do. Our Richmond workers' compensation lawyers – like most Virginia workers' comp lawyers do – provide free initial consultations to assess the specifics of your case and advise whether legal representation may benefit your claim outcome. In many, if not most cases, having an attorney represent you has the potential to help your case significantly. An experienced workers' compensation attorney will fight for your rights as you travel the long road through recovery and toward settlement. We will work hard to ensure that you receive all the benefits and awards to which you are entitled.
If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at (804) 999-9999 or or use the form below to connect with our legal team. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.