Richmond Workers’ Comp Attorney

After you’ve suffered a workplace injury, the last thing on your mind is securing your workers’ compensation benefits. You think workers’ compensation insurance is supposed to be there to protect you, but insurance companies typically look for reasons to deny your coverage! This makes it more difficult to secure the benefits you expected to receive and harder to get well because you’re so stressed. 

A qualified workers’ compensation law firm like Pathfinder Injury Law can help you during these stressful times. Call us at (804) 505-0633 or complete our online contact form for a free consultation from a workers’ compensation lawyer. We can help show you the way, and you can focus on getting better. 

What is the Purpose of Workers’ Comp in Richmond?

Workers’ compensation, whether in Richmond, Mechanicsville, Midlothian, or anywhere in Virginia, provides benefits to cover medical expenses (including medical bills and medical care) and lost wages after you suffer a work-related injury.

In cases where a worker dies on the job, workers’ compensation can also provide death benefits to dependents and closely related loved ones, such as spouses, children, and parents.

The goal of workers’ compensation is allegedly to help injured workers with their medical treatment and lost wages, but insurance companies look for reasons to get out of paying those benefits. It doesn’t matter the extent or nature of your injuries – whether you have partial disability or total disability or temporary disability or permanent disability. Insurance companies want to make money, and that doesn’t happen when they pay the injured worker. This is where a workers’ compensation attorney can be helpful. 

Who’s Eligible for a Richmond Workers’ Comp Claim?

Workers’ compensation is a form of administrative law overseen by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. Additionally, any company in Virginia with three or more employees is required to have workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance is provided by a workers’ compensation insurance carrier that provides benefits to the injured worker. 

Considered a “no-fault” system, workers’ compensation typically doesn’t care about who is responsible for the accident, unlike other areas of Virginia law. Injured workers who were hurt acting in the course and scope of their employment are usually eligible for coverage. However, if you are considered an independent contractor, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits unless you can prove you are actually an employee or are the functional equivalent of an employee. If the insurance company denies you on any of these bases, the Commission is the governing authority to hear the case.

This is why speaking to a qualified and experienced workers’ compensation attorney at an injured workers’ law firm for a free consultation regarding your claim is so important. The right workers’ compensation attorney can make all the difference. They can show you the way. 

Personal Injury Claims v. Workers’ Compensation Claims in Richmond

One of the more common questions injured workers ask is: “Can I sue my employer for my workplace injury like a personal injury lawsuit?” The quick answer is “No, you can’t sue your employer for a workers’ comp claim.” And this is because Virginia has made it so that workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for injured workers. 

In 1918, Virginia established the workers’ compensation system as the exclusive remedy for injured workers. Making workers’ compensation the exclusive remedy allowed more certainty for employer liability and limited the amount owed to an injured worker. In exchange, workers were given medical and lost wage benefits even if the worker was at fault in an attempt to save them from financial ruin. 

Because of this, an injured worker may not file a personal injury claim against their employer. There are a few exceptions that could allow an injured worker to file a personal injury claim, such as if an employee is sexually assaulted by another employee, if the employer intentionally injures the employee, and if the employer should have had workers’ compensation but did not at the time the worker was injured.

Benefits for Workers in Richmond, VA

The benefits available to workers in Richmond, Virginia, or anywhere in the state fall into four different categories:

  • Medical Benefits: Workers’ compensation should cover all of your reasonable, necessary, and causally related medical expenses from your work injury, including medical bills for office visits, medical procedures, medication, therapy, and other costs such as mileage to and from medical appointments.
  • Lost Wage Benefits (AKA Indemnity Benefits): Workers’ compensation should also provide you with two-thirds of your average weekly wage if you are taken totally out of work by a doctor. If you are on light duty or are working less hours after your accident, then that number may be different depending on your personal circumstances.
  • Permanent Partial Disability Benefits: These benefits may be paid when you have suffered an injury causing lasting impairment or permanent restrictions or when you have severe scarring or disfigurement, and a doctor has said you have reached maximum medical improvement. These benefits are based on a statutory schedule and are calculated based on your average weekly wage.
  • Death Benefits: If a loved one is lost to a work-related injury, workers’ compensation can also provide coverage for medical bills up to the time of death, burial costs up to $10,000, reasonable transportation expenses up to $1,000, and potential compensation for dependents. 

Determining what type of benefits you may be eligible to receive or how to go about getting those benefits can be confusing. Additionally, if you are on Social Security Disability or have certain retirement plans, a workers’ compensation case can potentially affect your payments from those benefits as well. 

Since no workers’ compensation benefits are automatically given after an accident, an injured worker must file a claim with the Commission to receive them! It is important to call an injured workers’ law firm for a free consultation and case evaluation. To learn more about how to file a workers’ compensation claim in Richmond, Virginia, or anywhere in the state, contact Pathfinder Injury Law at (804) 505-0633 or use our online form. We look forward to speaking with you.

How to Prepare for a Workers’ Comp Consultation

Before your initial consultation for a case evaluation, it is important to gather a few things to help the workers’ compensation attorney understand your individual situation. This includes:

  • Medical records, including work notes, visit summaries, etc.
  • Medical bills
  • Communications between you and the employer, including any accident reports detailing the accident and injury, the physician panel given to you, etc.
  • Communication between you and the insurance company
  • Any documentation from the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission

Overall, any documentation about your work accident, your injuries, and communications with the insurer and Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission will be important. The more detail you can provide, the more accurate a workers’ compensation attorney can be when assessing your case. 

Why Hire a Workers’ Compensation Law Firm?

A qualified and experienced workers’ compensation law firm can help you build the right case to get the benefits you need. If a hearing is scheduled before the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission to challenge a denial by the workers’ compensation insurance company, you need someone in your corner to prove that you deserve your benefits, for medical expenses and lost wages.

Many times, proving entitlement for benefits can be difficult for certain injuries, such as back injuries or shoulder injuries, that require more medical intervention than physical therapy and an x-ray. Having the right lawyer is key – they can help you not only prove your injuries, but also assist in getting you the benefits you deserve.  

Additionally, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will look at the entire case to determine the best practices moving forward. They will know the ins and outs of litigation to plot a strategy that will work for your specific case. You won’t be just a number. 

Injured in a Workplace Accident? Find Out How We Can Help You!

At Pathfinder Injury Law, you’re not just a number. Our legal team cares about you and puts the attorney-client relationship at the forefront. We value personalized attention and service.  Owner Bryn Swartz has even been voted one of Virginia’s Super Lawyers Rising Stars for two years running as an acknowledgment for his dedicated service to clients. 

Additionally, we listen to our clients’ needs and endeavor to obtain results to fit their individual situation. Pathfinder Injury Law has recovered millions of dollars in benefits and settlement for injured workers. But don’t take our word for it! Please look at our testimonials from previous clients. 

If you’re looking for a workers’ compensation attorney in Richmond or in central Virginia, we are happy to do an initial consultation over the phone or virtually. Just call us at (804) 505-0633 or fill out our contact form online. We look forward to speaking with you!

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