Employees injured while performing work-related duties may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can go a long way in helping you financially cope after a workplace accident by paying your medical bills and a portion of the wages lost when you cannot work.
However, you must go through a series of steps stipulated by the state’s workers’ compensation laws. Here is how the process works in Virginia.
Get medical attention
Your health and well-being come before anything else. Seek urgent medical care after a workplace accident, even if the injuries seem minor.
Notify your employer
Informing your employer of the workplace accident is crucial in the workers’ compensation process. Virginia law provides injured employees with a 30-day window to do so.
While failure to provide notice within this timeframe does not necessarily bar you from filing a claim, it is best to notify your employer as soon as the accident occurs, preferably in writing.
File a claim
Your next step should be filing a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. You can do this in person, via mail or electronically. It’s important to ensure you submit complete and accurate information on the forms. Remember to attach your medical records from your physician as well.
Once the commission processes your claim, it will issue a 30-day notice requiring your employer’s insurance carrier to respond within 30 days on the status of your claim. The response may be a denial or acceptance of your claim.
Protect your legal interests
Navigating the claims process can be a piece of work. In addition, there are strict deadlines involved, and delays or mistakes when filing or appealing your claim can harm your interests. Therefore, consider seeking qualified assistance to increase your chances of getting workers’ compensation benefits.