Workplace accidents happen every day all over the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 4,764 fatal work-related injuries were recorded in 2020 in the U.S. Additionally, employers in the private sector reported approximately 2.7 million illness and injury cases in 2020.

If you have been injured in a workplace accident in Richmond, VA, you should report your accident and injuries to your employer immediately. You have 30 days from the date of the accident to notify your employer. This time limit also applies after a doctor informs you about a work-related illness.

The statute of limitations for filing a workers' compensation claim with the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission (VWC) is two years from the date of the accident. You must file your claim with the commission within this period to be eligible to receive compensation benefits.

The claims process in Virginia can be complicated. If you have sustained a work-related injury, you may need time to rest and recover. A Richmond workers’ compensation lawyer can look into the facts of your claim, build a strong case, and claim all of the benefits you are entitled to under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act.

Why Should You File a Claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission?

The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers to offer workers’ compensation coverage for their employees who are injured or become ill while performing their jobs. 

While workers' compensation serves a crucial purpose in safeguarding the interests of injured workers, it is a confusing and complex process, and you should consider retaining an attorney to get the compensation you deserve. An experienced work-related injury attorney can help you secure a fair settlement.

Reasons Why Your Workers' Compensation Claim May Be Denied

Not all injured workers in Virginia receive workers' compensation benefits. You may receive news that the insurance company has denied your claim, and they will not cover your medical treatment or pay for your lost wages.

Insurance companies are always looking for reasons to deny workers' compensation claims in Virginia, and reasons why can include:

  • You didn't notify the employer about your injury within the required time
  • You failed a drug test
  • You waited for weeks to seek medical attention or never received any medical treatment
  • You filed a claim after termination
  • You missed the deadline to file a workers' compensation claim
  • You have a preexisting condition
  • There were no witnesses
  • Your injury isn't work-related

Denial of your workers’ compensation claim is not final, and you have the right to a hearing before the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.  

Enlisting the services of a work-related injury lawyer near Richmond may help you get the best possible outcome at your hearing. A lawyer will evaluate the specifics of your case and look into the reasons why the insurance carrier denied your claim.

An experienced lawyer can prove that the insurance company acted in bad faith when denying your claim. They can call you to testify, question witnesses, and prove using your medical reports that your injuries are work-related and the carrier’s denial is unjustified. 

What if Your Employer Doesn't Provide Workers' Compensation Coverage?

Virginia compensation law requires employers with more than two employees to carry workers' compensation insurance. An employer without insurance coverage can be liable for physical injuries, medical treatment costs, and other losses an employee suffers while at work.

If you sustain work-related injuries and your employer doesn't have compensation insurance coverage, a workers' compensation lawyer in Richmond, VA can review your legal options and advise you accordingly. A lawyer can help you deal with the difficulties of having an uninsured employer and can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries whether your employer has complied with insurance requirements or not. 

The Uninsured Employers’ Fund (UEF) in Virginia is a fund that can also compensate injured workers or their dependents if their employer doesn't have proper insurance coverage.

What is Considered an Occupational Injury?

Injuries and diseases in the workplace are very common. Be it a laceration on the leg or exposure to toxic fumes, employees should receive compensation for injuries they sustain while at work. 

An occupational injury is any incident within the workplace that results in physical harm to the employee. For instance, if your arm is caught in a conveyor belt machine or if you trip and fall after stepping on cords in the office, that may be considered an occupational injury. If you sustain bodily harm after a slip and fall accident, that could also be an occupational injury.

Job Injuries While Engaging in Common Activities

Injuries happen every day in the workplace while employees are performing their day-to-day activities. A painter may fall off a ladder while painting a building in Richmond, or a company vehicle may lose control and hit an employee in a warehouse. Work-related injuries can come in many forms.

Occupational Diseases or Repetitive Stress Injuries

An occupational illness occurs when a worker develops a sickness due to prolonged exposure to elements that make them ill, like asbestos fibers. In some cases, toxic chemicals can cause occupational diseases.

Repetitive stress injuries are injuries to muscles, ligaments, tendons, or nerves caused by repeating the same motion over a long time. These occupational injuries happen due to insufficient recovery time between physical demands. 

Repetitive stress injuries may include:

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis

Are Accidents Suffered While Volunteering Covered?

Under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, volunteers who aren't compensated or paid aren't considered employees. They usually aren't eligible for compensation benefits when they are injured participating in recreational activities, though an experienced attorney may be able to help you find an exception to that rule.

Hire a Richmond Lawyer Experienced in Workers' Compensation Law

Understanding your rights and considering all your available legal options after a work injury is critical. A Richmond workers' compensation attorney can evaluate the circumstances of your workplace accident and advise you on the most appropriate steps to secure maximum compensation.

If you or someone you care about has suffered a work-related injury or an occupational illness, you or your loved one may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. An experienced lawyer in Richmond can guide you throughout the claims and litigation process and ensure expert handling of your case.

At Commonwealth Law Group, our work-related injury lawyers gather and analyze evidence to build a strong workers' compensation claim. We can help you secure a positive outcome for your case.

Contact us now to schedule your free case review.

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.