If you’ve been seriously injured on the job or developed an occupational disease as a result of your employment, a law firm specializing in workers’ compensation can help you protect your claim.
In Virginia, workers’ compensation program replaces a percentage of your lost income when you’ve been injured on the job as well as paying medical bills related to your injury.
At the Ritchie Law Firm, our attorneys specialize in handling cases involving on the job injuries. We have more than 45 years of experience fighting for the rights of injured workers.
When Does Workers’ Compensation Apply?
Under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, you are entitled to benefits if your injury or occupational disease arose out of and in the course of your employment. Simply put, this means that at the time of the job injury, the worker must have been performing a job assigned by the employer and in the place he or she was assigned to be working. Additionally, the injury must be connected to the employment activity rather than being caused by something that everyone has an equal risk to have happen to them. An occupational disease usually develops over time. To be compensable, an occupational disease must show that the disease was caused by the duties of the employment and must not result from conditions or activities to which you may have been exposed outside of the employment.
Virginia workers’ compensation is a complex process. However, in general, covered injuries may include the following:
- Broken bones
- Muscle strains
- Back and neck problems
- Loss of strength and/or flexibility,
- Heart problems, disease related to your employment,
- And more
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What should you do if you’re injured on the job?
If you’re injured by an accident or contract an occupational disease, you must give written notice to your supervisor or someone in a supervisory position at your place of employment. This written notice should explain when and how the accident or disease occurred. This notice should be given as soon as the employee knows about the injury or disease, since failure to report the condition may affect the workers’ right to benefits.
- Notify your employer as soon as possible.
- Keep doctor appointments and follow doctor recommendations.
- Keep appointments for independent medical examinations.
- Cooperate fully with persons who are helping you find employment, such as your employer and/or a rehabilitation counselor. Cooperation does not mean you have to reveal personal financial information to a rehabilitation worker.
- Notify your employer and its insurance carrier if you return to employment or if you have an increase in earnings while you are receiving compensation benefits.
- Report your current residential address and report any address change to the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
- Attend scheduled hearings.
- Attend depositions and answer interrogatory questions when directed by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Should I try to deal with the insurance company myself?
Claims adjusters work for insurance companies and must make decisions to benefit the insurance company. The insurance companies have lawyers protecting their interests. You need the same protection. The sooner you seek advice from a lawyer, the sooner the investigation can start. Getting an early start to your investigation can make the difference between winning and losing your case.
At the Ritchie Law Firm, we handle most cases on a contingency basis. That means we only get paid when we win. You can contact us today to get a free case evaluation and get on your way to getting the compensation you deserve.
When you meet with us, we’ll go over the paperwork, what happened, our processes, communications, expected fees, and you’ll have the opportunity to meet the legal assistant that would be responsible for your case.
Still need a little more information about workers’ compensation claims? Download our workers’ compensation brochure.