File Virginia Workers’ Comp Claim
If you’ve been injured on the job in Virginia, you may be eligible to file a Virginia workers’ compensation claim to get your medical bills and lost wages paid. However, there are some things injured workers must do to file Virginia workers’ comp claim after the injury occurs.
Workers Compensation: How to File Virginia Workers’ Comp Claim
1) First, injured workers MUST give notice of an injury to the employer. The notice can be in person or written and must inform a supervisor of when and how your accident happened. If you fail to notify your employer within 30 days of your injury, you could lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
2) Second, injured workers MUST file a claim with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission. You can file a Claim for Benefits form with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission within two (2) years of the date of the accident. Even if you are receiving benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, a Claim for Benefits form must still be filed and must include all of the body parts you injured in the accident. Your claim form can be filed by any of the following methods:
- In person: Complete the claim form called Claim for Benefits and deliver it to any of the office locations of the Virginia Worker’s Compensation Commission. All visitors, including attorneys, parties and witnesses, may be required to present photo identification to enter Commission facilities.
- By mail: Complete the claim form linked above and mail it to: Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, 333 E. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23219.
- By fax: Complete the claim form linked above and fax it to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission: 804-823-6956.
- By Webfile: Use your JCN (Jurisdiction Claim Number) and PIN number to create a WebFile account with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. You can then file the claim form linked above with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission online.
3) Third, an injured worker MUST get medical treatment. Your employer must give you a list of at least 3 doctors to choose from. You are required to choose a doctor from this list. If your employer does not give you a list of doctors, you could choose your own. In an emergency situation, you can get emergency medical treatment at a nearby hospital or other emergency facility. You should, however, notify your employer of your accident and treatment as soon as possible afterwards. Additionally, you should submit any medical bills to your employers’ workers’ comp insurance carrier.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance: If Your Claim Is Accepted
If your workers’ compensation claim is accepted, you will then be entitled to lifetime medical benefits. At that point, your employer will be required to pay for medical treatment provided by your treating doctor or by any physician the treating doctor refers you to. Reasonable medical treatment also includes surgical treatment and prescriptions as well as medical supplies or equipment and mileage to doctor appointments. However, the employer does not have to pay for medical care which has not been authorized by your doctor or which is not necessary for treatment of your injury.
If the workers’ comp insurance company has denied your claim, you can pick any treating doctor that you want. If your claim has been denied, see our article “My Virginia Workers’ Compensation Claim Was Denied”.
Seeing Your Doctor
When you visit your doctor for your workers’ compensation injuries, you should give him or her as much detail as possible. You should describe the location and type of pain you experience, for instance sharp, dull, burning, tingling, numb, etc. You should also tell the doctor how long your pain lasts and what activities tend to aggravate it.
Missing Time From Work: File Virginia Workers’ Comp Claim
In addition to medical treatment benefits, you are also entitled to reimbursement of lost compensation. In Virginia, an injured worker is not eligible for lost time benefits until after missing 7 days of work. But, if your disability from work continues for more than 21 days, you will receive payment for the first 7 days that were missed.
The amount of compensation you receive will be based on your average weekly wage and whether you are totally off work or on light-duty (permanent partial disability or temporary partial disability). The average weekly wage is determined by calculating your weekly wage averaged out over the past 52 weeks. Your compensation is then determined by calculating two-thirds of your average weekly wage. As long as your doctor determines that you should not work, you can continue to collect wage benefits for a maximum of 500 weeks. For more information on the types of benefits you may be entitled to, you can read our article on Pain and Suffering in Virginia Workers’ Compensation.
Injured Workers: Returning To Work
If your doctor decides that you are able to return to work, the workers’ comp insurance carrier will send you a Termination of Wage Loss Award. This form states that either you were able to return to work or did return to work on a certain day. You should not sign this form unless you agree with all of the information on it.
When you are released by your doctor to return to light-duty work or work with restrictions, you are required to accept work offered by or found with the help of the employer, even if the job pays less than your pre-injury work.
If the new job with restrictions pays less than you were making before the accident, the employer will be responsible for making up the difference in wages. If the employer does not provide the appropriate paperwork to make up the difference in your wages, it may be necessary for you to file a claim form with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. See our article on Light-Duty Employment here. Or, if you think you may have a permanent injury, you will want to read about Permanent Workers’ Comp Injuries.
If you have been released to light-duty work by your doctor and your employer isn’t helping your find work, you are required to do job searches on your own. To satisfy this requirement, you should:
- Register with the Job Placement Division of the Virginia Employment Commission.
- Make a list of all of the job searches you do on a weekly basis. The list should include: the name of the potential employer contacted, the potential employer’s address, a statement that either an application was submitted or the business would not accept applications. You can’t just ask a potential employer if they are hiring. You must either apply for a job or note that they will not accept your application.
- You must contact and apply for at least 5 jobs per week.
Your Obligations As An Injured Worker: File Virginia Workers’ Comp Claim
As an injured worker, you have numerous responsibilities. Some of the most important are;
- You must notify your employer (and statutory employer, if applicable) about your injury as soon as possible.
- You must keep medical appointments with your doctor and follow the prescribed treatment plans.
- You must keep appointments for second opinion doctors (independent medical exams) scheduled by the workers’ comp insurance company.
- If your doctor puts you on light-duty restrictions (temporary partial disability), you must cooperate fully with anyone who is helping you find a job. This includes attending appointments with employers and rehabilitation workers. However, you are NOT required to reveal personal financial information to a rehabilitation worker.
- Notify your employer and insurance company if you find a job or have an increase in earnings while you are receiving workers’ comp benefits.
- Attend depositions and answer interrogatory questions that an attorney for the insurance company might send you.
- Attend all scheduled hearings.
Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission
The Virginia Workers Compensation Commission and the Commission’s website are a helpful resource for injured workers seeking workers compensation. The Commission was established to act as an advocate for injured workers. The Virginia Workers Compensation Commission also assists employers with workers compensation claim and insurance questions. The Commission maintains a database where claim documents may be uploaded and accessed by lawyers and claimants. You may contact the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission at 877-664-2566 or at the following address:
Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, 333 E. Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23219.
Talk To a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you’ve been injured on the job, it is wise to talk to a lawyer who is experienced in injured workers claims. At the Ritchie Law Firm, you can talk to us for FREE . . . NO STRINGS ATTACHED! We can give you advice on how to file Virginia workers’ comp claim. Check out our article on “How Much Does a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Cost” here.
For nearly 50 years, the Ritchie Law Firm has successfully helped thousands of injured workers navigate the complex workers’ compensation process. The Ritchie Law Firm specializes in getting workers comp benefits, including medical benefits and lost wages, for injured employees. We never represent insurance companies or corporations. If your workers’ compensation case is going to hearing, you will want a trial expert on your side. We are board certified trial specialists through the National Board of Trial Advocacy. The attorney you choose for your workers’ compensation case can make all the difference.
Virginia Workers’ compensation is a complex system that can be very difficult to navigate. Be very careful to make certain that your rights to receive benefits are protected and your medical expenses are paid. Your knowledge about the need to file Virginia workers’ comp claim could affect your right to collect wage loss benefits, especially temporary total disability benefits.
We offer a free consultation, so there is no cost to talk to our workers’ comp lawyers. If we take your case, we don’t get a fee unless we win your case. There is no risk to you to get some information about your case before you make any decision that might negatively affect its outcome.
Your Virginia Workers’ Compensation Team
We have a wealth of information and resources available to us, and we’re always happy to share. Give us a call today at 800-277-6124 for your NO STRINGS ATTACHED conversation with our workers’ comp. lawyers. We handle Virginia Workers’ Compensation cases out of our offices in Harrisonburg, Winchester, Charlottesville, and Staunton, Va. Or, if you just want to test the waters first, get some more information by filling out the form below. We look forward to working with you.
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Ritchie Law Firm is a personal injury law firm devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious injuries as a result of a job injury. Ritchie Law Firm serves injured workers in all of Virginia, while helping clients in cities and surrounding areas of Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Staunton, and Winchester. Check out case studies from some of the cases we’ve handled by clicking
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