VIRGINIA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: WHAT’S IMPORTANT?
In Virginia, workers’ compensation claims are overseen and regulated by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. If you’ve been injured on the job, there are some important things you need to know to help avoid running into snags with the workers’ comp insurance carrier. For Virginia workers’ compensation, what’s important? One of the most important things you can do to help your claim move efficiently through the process is to PUT EVERYTHING IN WRITING!!!!!
Virginia Workers’ Compensation: What’s most important?
- Get communication from employers in writing on company letterhead. If your employer tells you that they will give you a job with certain restrictions, where you won’t have to perform certain heavier duties, it is helpful to get that offer in writing on company letterhead. Many times, we see that employers will make an offer of light-duty work but then demand that the worker do the heavier duties anyway.
- Get work restrictions from your doctor in writing. If you doctor says you must work light-duty and gives you restrictions, ask him or her to put those restrictions in writing. Frequently, we see there can be a disconnect between what the doctor says and what we as patients hear. Or, we also see problems with the doctor forgetting the restrictions he or she recommended. Having the restrictions communicated in writing is the best bet to prevent any miscommunication.
- Keep a written “log” of when you were off work for your injury, doctor appointments, etc. When you are off work due to your injury or when you miss for attending medical appointments, it is important to keep a log or notebook of the days and times that you missed as well as the reason for the time off. Often, payroll and human resources departments can get it wrong and miscalculate the time you missed. You will want to be compensated for all time that you missed from work, if that time is covered by worker’ comp. In Virginia, you must lose seven days of work before workers’ comp will begin to pay on your claim for lost time.
- Keep a written mileage reimbursement log. Just like the written time off log, it is also important to keep a written log of all the mileage you accumulate going to medical appointments and job searches. For this log, be sure to record the date, name and address of the location where you traveled, and the total number of miles both to and from the location.
- Write down all of your job searches. If you are released by your doctor to return to light-duty work and your employer can’t give you a job with light-duty restrictions, you will be required to look for work that matches your physical restrictions. You will be required to conduct at least 5 job searches per week and you should record all of those searches in a notebook or log. Write down the date that you contacted the employer or applied for the job as well as the name and address of the potential employer/job.
- Be SURE to file a written Claim for Benefits form, either online or through the mail. Last, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, you MUST file a Claim for Benefits form with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. That can be accomplished one of several ways. You can go to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWCC) website and fill out a form online, or you can print the form and fax or mail it to the (VWCC). Usually, after you report your injury to your employer, you will receive in the mail a paper version of the Claim for Benefits Form. Either fill this form out and mail or fax it to the address on the form or complete the form online. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!
Talk To An Experienced Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have questions about how to describe your work injury or any other questions about your Virginia Workers’ Comp claim, it is wise to contact a lawyer for some advice.
If you’ve been injured on the job, it is helpful to talk to a lawyer who is experienced in workers’ compensation claims. At the Ritchie Law Firm, you can talk to us for FREE . . . NO STRINGS ATTACHED! We can give you advice on your claim before you make a decision that could damage your case. Check out our article on “How Much Does a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Cost” here.
At the Ritchie Law Firm, we have successfully handled thousands of workers’ compensation claims. We’ve seen injured workers who have trusted the insurance adjuster only to find out that their time to file the paperwork to protect their claim had expired.
Virginia Workers’ compensation is a complex system that can be very difficult to navigate. Be very careful to make certain that your rights are protected before you sign anything. Talking to our workers’ comp lawyers about your claim is free. 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.
For more than 45 years, the Ritchie Law Firm has successfully helped thousands of injured workers navigate the complex workers’ compensation process. The Ritchie Law Firm specializes in serving injury victims. We never represent insurance ompanies 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 in the outcome of your case. Choose wisely. . . you can talk to us for free. Call today 800-277-6124 or fill out the form below. 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 here.
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