If you get an injury at work, you may be able to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. Virginia law requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they regularly employ more than two full-time or part-time employees, including subcontractors.
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act has strict guidelines as to what counts as a workplace injury or illness. In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, your injury must meet the following requirements:
- It occurs while working or at a work-related function.
- A specific work task causes the accident.
- The injury happens suddenly and at a specific time.
The law does not cover repetitive trauma injuries.
Once your accident occurs, you have a 30-day deadline to provide your employer with a written notice about it. You also have two years from the date of the injury or diagnosis of a disease to file a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. If you fail to meet these deadlines, you may lose your right to receive any benefits. According to the VWCC, you have the option to file your injured worker claim in person, online, by mail or by fax.
The law requires employers to make payouts for wage replacement, lifetime medical benefits, permanent and disability, death benefits, cost of living increase and vocational rehabilitation.
If your employer denies your claim, you can send a hearing request to the VWCC. During your hearing, you can provide evidence of your workplace injury through testimony, medical reports and witnesses.
This information is educational and general and no one should interpret it as legal advice.