Workers’ compensation laws can be complicated. As a result, employees
may neither fully understand workers’ rights nor their employer’s
responsibilities. One of the most important things to remember is that
Virginia workers’ compensation is designed to protect those injured
while on the job.
In fact, worker’s compensation, in the state of Virginia, is designed to:
- Provide appropriate medical care;
- Compensate and injured worker for lost wages; and
- Help the employee regain the ability to work, even if it requires rehabilitation
Medical Care When an Employee is Injured at Work
Employers must always provide medical treatment to an employee who has
sustained injury while working or participating in a work-related activity.
When an injury at work is not an emergency, the employer must provide
a list of at least three physicians from which the employee can choose
to receive care. These doctors must be able to meet the specific needs
of the employee’s injuries.
If the injuries are life threatening and it is an emergency situation,
the employee should be provided ambulatory services to the nearest medical
center. If the injuries aren’t life-threatening but the situation
is still an emergency, the employer should allow the worker to receive
help from the nearest medical center. After receiving emergency care and
treatment, the employer should provide the employee a list from which
to choose a treating physician.
Virginia Workers’ Compensation Benefits Provided to an Injured Worker
When a workers’ compensation claim is approved, there are several
different types of benefits that may be available, such as:
- Reimbursements for travel costs to medical appointments
- Parking fees
- Medication prescriptions
- Medical devices
The employee should not be billed for any work injury-related treatment
or equipment. Instead, the employer or its workers’ compensation
insurance should pay any and all medical bills. In addition, workers’
compensation insurance should also pay for long-term care, such as home
care services or physical therapy.
How are Disability Benefits Calculated?
Employees are also entitled to disability benefits if injured on the job,
which vary depending on the type of injury and how long it keeps the employee
away from work. Benefits should be equal to two-thirds of an employee’s
average weekly wages. Temporary partial disability allows workers to recover
two-thirds of the difference between their former wages and their wages
after their injury.
According to Virginia laws, workers may neither recover less than 25% of
the average weekly wage in the state, nor any more than 100% of the average
Employee’s Rights When Returning to Work
One of the main goals of workers’ compensation is to get the employee
back to work as soon as possible. Therefore, workers may be entitled to
vocational rehabilitation, which, of course, depends on the employee’s
physical abilities and mental skills.
For this reason, transitional duties may be necessary based on the employee’s
progress, or the employer may have to provide modifications to the work
environment or duties in order to service the employee. In some cases,
it may be necessary to help the employee find more suitable employment
since there are restrictions that will affect an employee long-term.
It is important to keep in mind that if an employer or insurer refuses
to provide benefits, employees should not assume that they are not entitled
to receive them. If this happens, employees have the right to request
a hearing from the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. If
the worker wins the appeal, the employee must be reimbursed for all benefits owed.
Have You Sustained Injuries in the Workplace? Call Our Firm!
If you were injured while on the job, we encourage you to get in touch
with a Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer from The Barrera Law
Firm, PLLC right away. We do not believe that any person deserves to suffer
anxieties that arise due to costly medical expenses and physical pain.
For this reason, we are equipped with the knowledge and skills it takes
to fight for your rights and future. When you entrust our team with your
case, we will explore every avenue of the situation and determine what
strategies can help you recover the workers’ compensation you deserve!
To speak with a Virginia workers’ compensation attorney today,
call The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC, or
fill out a case evaluation form online!