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Fairfax Workers' Compensation Blog

What to do after a workplace injury

Imagine a scenario where you are at your place of work. You are doing your job as you do every day when you unfortunately suffer an injury. It is significant enough of an injury that concerns about how to handle it flood your mind. It may keep you from performing your daily responsibilities at work. If you cannot work, how are you going to make money? How are you going to provide for your family?

This scenario happens to thousands of people every year. Fortunately, there is a way to make the best of a bad situation. Workers’ compensation benefits are available for people that suffer injuries on the job. These benefits can make the recovery process much smoother and allow you to stay financially stable while you are away from work. That said, you need to know how to properly approach a workplace injury to ensure that you receive these benefits.

Reasons for a workers’ compensation claim denial

If you suffer a workplace injury and are unable to immediately return to your job, learn more about your legal right to receive workers' compensation benefits.

You may believe that your claim is simple and straightforward, but that doesn't always mean you'll receive benefits as expected.

Is filing a work-related injury claim an act against my employer?

Workers across Northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C., metro area routinely suffer job-related injuries, regardless of their occupation.

When that happens, they often cannot continue their work activities. Discontinued employment can understandably cause great stress concerning work stability. Work accidents and injuries can require pricey medical care and, owing to disrupted payments, make it difficult to provide for families and personal needs.

What is the Federal Black Lung Program?

Many jobs have inherent dangers. We often hear about the risks that police officers, firefighters, loggers, fishermen and others face each day. But what about careers in which the dangers accumulate over time?

Coal miners, too, face hazards daily -- cave ins, poison gas, coal-dust explosions and more. But even more common among coal miners is black lung disease. In fact, the chronic respiratory ailment has hit a 25-year high in Appalachia. It affects nearly 20 percent of people who work in coal mines for 25 years or more. To combat this vocational epidemic, the federal government runs the Black Lung Program, providing benefits to workers who suffer from this disease and their survivors.

Can I obtain compensation for a repetitive stress injury?

Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are some of the most common injuries that workers suffer across the nation. Anyone from a construction worker to a manufacturer or even an office worker is at risk of sustaining an RSI during their career.

RSIs can cause individuals significant discomfort and pain that could potentially limit their movement and ability to complete their work. So, is it possible to recover workers' compensation for these work injuries?

A look at some of the most dangerous jobs in Fairfax

As you make your way around Fairfax, you see people at work in various jobs, some of which include significant risks to workers’ safety and health. You might hold one of the riskier jobs yourself, so you would understand the risk of injury better than most.

The workers who collect and dispose of Fairfax’s waste take care of a critical need, and they take some considerable risks of on-the-job injuries while doing so. Trash and recycling collectors are jobs near the top of any list of most dangerous occupations in the U.S., according to the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Can you choose your doctor for a workers' compensation claim?

If you have been injured or suffer from a disease due to an on-the-job incident, you may be eligible for workers' compensation. Under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act, employees are eligible for medical expense coverage, lost wage reimbursement and rehabilitation cost coverage due to illness or injury caused by work-related incidents.

You should report your injury to your employer immediately, but no later than 30 days after the accident happened. You may also want to file a claim with the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission (VWCC) directly, to protect yourself. Otherwise, your employer should report the incident to the VWCC within 10 days, after you reported it to your employer.

Virginia's firefighters face an above-average risk of cancer

Every day, Virginia’s firefighters risk their lives to save others. They brave fires and smoke, but those may not even be the deadliest threats they face. Many fires also release carcinogenic chemicals into the air and put firefighters at a higher than average risk for cancer.

After 9/11, studies found that firefighters got hit by several types of cancer at a much higher rate than the general population. Most states have since responded by passing new workers’ compensation laws. They presume that firefighters diagnosed with these types of cancer got them on the job. But even with these new laws, some firefighters have had their claims denied.

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