Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Have you been hurt on the job and want to ensure you’re properly taken care of and compensated? Even though Virginia law requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, you may find it very challenging to successfully claim your benefits. In fact, claiming workers’ comp is rarely easy or straightforward. Many injured employees have experienced additional stress because of the claim process, worries about their job’s future, and even outright denial of their claims.
To help you obtain what you deserve, call an attorney who is not only competent but also compassionate towards workers like you. You can find this attorney here at Slominski Law. Since 1991, Attorney Slominski has been helping real people get full and fair compensation for the injuries they have suffered.
Give us a call today at (434) 384-9400 for a free consultation.
Are You Eligible For Workers’ Comp In Virginia?
You may be wondering if your injury or illness is covered by workers’ compensation. The general rule of thumb is that if you were hurt while performing an activity as an employee, you may be able to claim benefits. Specifically, under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, your injury must have these elements:
- It occurred while you were at work or during a work-related activity. This means that your injury may still be covered even if, for instance, it occurred while you were on a work trip.
- The injury was caused by a specific work activity or occurred at a specific time. Occupational accidents such as construction calamities are typical examples of this, though injuries don’t always have to be “sudden accidents” to qualify for compensation. In some cases, injuries or illnesses that occur over hours or days may still be considered compensable. An example would be a firefighter sustaining injuries in an hour-long rescue. However, this rule makes it virtually impossible to claim for repetitive or cumulative injuries. These are ones that occur over a long span of time due to repetitive tasks such as typing at a computer every day or standing for prolonged periods. The challenge with this type of injury is that it is difficult to pinpoint the specific period of time when it occurred.
To give you a better idea, the following are some of the injuries and illnesses that may be covered by workers’ compensation in Virginia:
- Aggravation of a pre-existing condition
- Amputation or loss of limb
- Back or spine injury
- Bacterial exposure, such as among doctors, nurses, and caregivers
- Burns and scars
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) – Though this is a repetitive stress injury, there have been successful workers’ claims for CTS in Virginia.
- Chemical exposure
- Dental injuries, including injuries to the mouth and jaw
- Eye injuries and loss of vision
- Head injuries
- Hearing loss
- Lung disease or respiratory disorders, such as those from exposure to chemicals like asbestos
- Paraplegia or quadriplegia
- And more!
If you are unsure whether your injury entitles you to workers’ comp, please do not hesitate to talk to us at Slominski Law. You can consult with our highly trusted attorney for free.
Important Things To Remember When Claiming Workers’ Comp
Getting rightfully compensated for your work injury may not be as simple as filing a claim. Keep in mind these crucial things that may affect your compensation:
- There are deadlines for workers’ comp. You must notify your employer within 30 days of your injury, and you must file your claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission within two years of the date of accident. It is best that you take action right away instead of waiting, as any delay can damage your claim.
- There are limits to the amount you may receive. In general, Virginia Workers’ Compensation is paid weekly, equal to 66.67 percent of your average weekly wages. The total compensation cannot be more than 500 weeks, except in extreme cases.
- You should not lose your job just because you made a claim. This is one of the most common worries of injured workers. Know that the law protects you: it is illegal for your employer to fire you for pursuing a workers’ comp claim. If you feel that your employer might retaliate in any way, discuss your situation with an attorney.
- You must protect your claim. Many workers have made mistakes that unfortunately hurt their claim for compensation. An example is giving statements that undermine their injury, or signing documents without thoroughly reviewing them first. Sometimes, even saying “I’m fine” can weaken an injury claim. To avoid these mistakes, protect yourself by enlisting a lawyer as soon as possible.
Challenges In A Virginia Workers’ Compensation Claim
Ideally, the workers’ compensation system should make it easier for you to get monetary reimbursement for your work injury. But in reality, you must be prepared to meet some obstacles in your claim.
The first roadblock you may face is a company that’s well-equipped to defend against claims like yours, and that could put you at a disadvantage. Your employer or their insurance company may have the resources and methods to undermine claims. It is not surprising that many workers are denied the compensation they are entitled to.
It can also be difficult for you to prove your work-related injury or illness. You must gather all relevant evidence such as emergency room records, doctor visits, and test results. It’s also wise to document your symptoms as soon as you notice them, even if they seem minor (like bruising or swelling). More importantly, don’t delay hiring a lawyer – he or she can start building your case while the evidence is still available.
Complicated laws can also present a challenge for you. Virginia rules on workers’ compensation are relatively strict and often hazy. Your employer and their insurer may be able to bring up a variety of defenses against your claim. It takes a reliable attorney to assert your case and make the law work for you.
Contact Slominski Law
Based in Lynchburg, VA, Slominski Law is a homegrown law firm with personal dedication to injured Virginians. We are proud to be a small firm with a big heart – our operation allows us to work closely with you and never treat you as just another case number. This is how we have helped clients like you succeed over the decades.
Your initial consultation with us is completely free. Call us today at (434) 384-9400 or reach us through our online contact form.