Basics of Virginia workers' compensation laws - First Light Law

As an employee working for a company in Virginia, you need to know you rights and deserved benefits under the workers’ compensation system. The workers’ compensation system is designed to help employees, who have suffered injuries in an on-job accident, or have been diagnosed with a job-related illness. The compensation will cover for medical bills and lost wages. As a smart move, injured workers should consider working with a skilled Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Virginia. In this post, we are sharing more on workers’ compensation laws in the state and why you may want to hire a lawyer. 

The basics of workers’ comp 

All employers in Virginia employing more than two employees should have workers’ compensation insurance. In case of workplace accidents, injured workers must inform their employee within 30 days, although it is always wise to inform as early as possible. For job-related illnesses, the employer should be informed within 30 days, counting from the day of diagnosis. While as an injured worker, you can ask for benefits under the existing workers’ compensation system, you cannot directly sue the employer. Besides medical bills and lost wages, a worker may get permanent disability benefits, if applicable. 

Should you hire a workers’ compensation lawyer?

There is no law that makes it mandatory to hire a lawyer for workers’ compensation claim. However, for filing the claim and handling all the paperwork, you may need legal advice. The workers’ compensation system can be hard to navigate, especially for someone who doesn’t know much about insurance laws and claims. Especially when you are dealing with injuries and financial losses, you wouldn’t want to make mistakes that can impact your benefits. A lawyer is your best bet at completing the paperwork without mistakes, and they can guide on your rights and benefits. If your claim is denied, your lawyer can prep for an appeal. 

Negotiating with insurance companies can be hard for someone with little experience. Lawyers can see through the tactics used by insurance companies, and they can negotiate things to ensure that the settlement amount is fair. 

Cost of hiring a lawyer

Depending on the facts of the case and expected settlement, a workers’ compensation lawyer may work on a contingency basis, like personal injury lawyers. This means that they get paid if they win. You can discuss other costs related to the case, which they can advance on your behalf and adjust with the settlement later.