What to Do After an Accident at Work in Virginia
You are likely entitled to workers’ compensation if you are injured in an accident at work in Virginia. Workers’ compensation will get you the medical treatment you need and protect you against financial loss due to a work injury. Consulting a Virginia workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible may increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.
What steps should I take following an accident at work?
Here are the steps to follow if you are injured at work. That injury may occur at your place of employment or somewhere else if you were performing a duty in the course of your employment.
1. Notify your employer about the accident
Make sure that your employer or immediate superiors are notified about your accident. The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act mandates that you must notify your employer in writing about your work injury within 30 days of the accident. You are required to inform other people like the Safety Director or Human Resources Manager if your company has an accident reporting protocol.
2. Get first aid and medical treatment immediately
Seeking immediate medical treatment after a workplace accident is important for several reasons.
- Medical treatment is the only way to diagnose and treat your injury. Your employer should provide you with a panel of three physicians to seek treatment.
- Delaying treatment creates doubts whether you were injured on the job or elsewhere. Medical treatment will provide the documentation to support your claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Present yourself to the nearest Emergency Room if the injury happens when and where there are no other medical professionals to see you. A workplace injury is that important.
- The Workers Compensation Commission will not pay for lost income unless a medical provider has issued documentation of a workplace injury, and have restricted your ability to work.
3. Do not delay in reporting your injury to your employer/supervisor
There are various reasons why people wait before reporting their injury at work:
- They do not want to appear weak
- There is no one to notify about the injury
- They think the injury is nothing serious or will heal by itself
- They fear offending the employer and losing their job
4. Let your co-workers know about your accident at work
There are usually no witnesses when accidents at work occur. If you were alone or away from other workers when you were injured, make sure to let your co-workers know about the incident. Co-workers are interviewed by employers and insurance companies to find out if anyone else was aware of the injury. If more people have knowledge of your accident and they tell the insurer about it, there is a better chance your claim will get approved.
5. Make a photographic or video record of your injuries and the accident scene
Scratches, bruises, swelling, and discoloration on your body can help establish your case. Make a photographic or video record of your workplace injuries after the accident. Photos and videos can be submitted at the trial.
Document the accident scene as well. This will help in cases concerning
trip and fall accidents, slip and fall accidents, and fall from high places. Photos can reveal the defect or environmental condition that caused the accident. Speaking of photos, make sure not to post any of them to social media or discuss your accident in any way on social.
6. Your claim for benefits must be filed with the Workers Compensation Commission within two years of the date of your accident
Complete a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and send it to the Workers Compensation Commission’s headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. If you live in Richmond or near one of the Commission’s regional offices, you can file your claim personally.
You have two years to file a workers’ compensation claim starting from the date of your accident. Don’t delay in filing a claim or you will lose your right to workers’ compensation. Filing a claim for benefits is your responsibility and must be done correctly.
Consult a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Knowing your legal rights after your workplace accident can be difficult. Your employer and their insurance provider may provide little information as they will be looking after their interests in the matters. The costs associated with a successful workers’ comp claim can devastate a small employer and they will be understandably concerned. Your health, though, must be your primary concern.
The insurance company will do their best to deny benefits or minimize the amount of compensation you can receive. Defend your rights by hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Contact Slominski Law Today
If you were injured at the workplace, consult a competent workers’ compensation attorney who can help you settle your claim successfully. Attorney Jaleh K. Slominski has extensive knowledge and experience in handling workers’ compensation claims in Virginia.
For your free initial consultation, call Slominski Law today at (434) 384-9400 in Lynchburg or at (540) 554-3762 in Roanoke.