Protecting The Rights Of Injured Workers
Individuals who are injured on the job or develop serious occupational diseases in Virginia are usually entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, the steps required to collect these benefits can be confusing and intimidating. The single best way to protect your rights to coverage for medical expenses, wage replacement and other considerations is to consult a qualified lawyer.
The attorneys at Parthemos, Curran, Buelow and Polizzi, PLLC, have more than seven decades of combined experience advising and rigorously representing the injured. Our compassionate, highly efficient legal team is here to help you at any point after a work accident or your diagnosis with a work-related illness. We provide focused, personal attention to every client we serve and take great pride in our track record of successful results.
We Know The System, And We Stand Up To Insurance Companies
It is essential to seek medical attention and notify your employer as soon as possible after suffering a work injury. It is also essential to recognize that you will be dealing with an insurance company and the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. This means that:
- Having your claim initially accepted by the insurance company is not sufficient to ensure you will receive all the benefits you deserve. It is also necessary to file a claim with the commission to ensure that an award has been entered in your case.
- It is common for workers’ compensation insurers to deny valid claims, terminate medical benefits prematurely or take the position that you can return to work before you are able. When such problems arise, resolving them may require a hearing or appeal — and your likelihood of a successful outcome may well depend on your choice of legal representation.
At Parthemos, Curran, Buelow and Polizzi, PLLC, we are dedicated to obtaining just compensation for injured workers. Our knowledge and experience cover the spectrum of occupations, injury types and different injury-causing events. We have recovered benefits for clients injured in a variety of circumstances, from lifting and repetitive stress injuries to falls and on-the-job vehicle accidents.
Below are questions we frequently receive regarding workers’ compensation.
How do I choose a doctor?
Your physician will play a key role in handling your case, so you’ll want to make sure your choice provides you with the best shot at getting better while staying true to state guidelines.
- Pre-approval: You can’t pick any doctor you please to take charge of your case, in most circumstances. Your employer will usually present you with a list of approved physicians to choose from, and deviating from the allowable pool could put your claim in jeopardy.
- Specialties: You’ll want to make sure you’re selecting the best doctor for you. Even if general practitioners make the bulk of your list, the underlying qualities may play a large role in your recovery. Different specializations and experience that prove pertinent to your ailments could help out when you’re trying to get back to work.
- Referrals: Your doctor might refer you for special examinations and tests outside the approved list of physicians. Workers’ compensation will generally still cover this visit. Don’t accept lesser care, regardless if they fall outside of the insurance company’s healthcare network.
Get the coverage you need after an accident at work. Picking the right doctor could make all the difference when you begin your journey toward recovery.
What benefits are available through workers’ compensation?
Virginia workers compensation benefits include:
- Lifetime medical benefits: injured workers can receive payment for medical expenses related to their injury or occupational illness. Payment can include out-of-pocket medical costs, prescriptions and medically-related transportation expenses.
- Wage loss replacement: injured workers can receive wage loss replacement for temporary total disability or temporary partial disability when the injured worker has a medically-authorized disability preventing them from working.
- Permanent partial disability: injured workers who are permanently partially disabled may recover benefits for the loss of the use of a body part; amputation; loss of hearing or vision; bodily disfigurement or scarring; or lung disease.
- Permanent total disability: injured workers who are permanently totally disabled may recover benefits including lifetime wage replacement for loss of both hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes or any two body parts in the same accident. Benefits may also be available for paralysis or disability caused by a severe brain injury.
- Death benefits: surviving family members, children and some dependents may be able to receive wage loss benefits, funeral expenses and other benefits when they lose a loved one in a fatal workplace accident.
What happens if my employer retaliates against me?
State and federal laws prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who file workers’ compensation claims. Nevertheless, they do so frequently. In Virginia, it is startlingly common for employers to demote, fire, threaten, harass or otherwise harm workers who have filed claims for compensation.
An employer who punishes an employee for exercising such rights is acting in direct violation of state law. Workers who have suffered retaliation have legal recourse to reinstate any benefits they may have lost, and pursue other forms of compensation.
However, there is a short statute of limitations in employer retaliation cases. It is important for workers to act quickly.
What can I do if the insurance company denies my claim?
Workers’ compensation insurance companies do not have the final say on claim denials or terminations of benefits. Many such decisions can be successfully overturned by taking the matter before the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.
How To Reach Us
In every case we handle, the clients’ interests come first. Whether your situation calls for skilled negotiation or dynamic representation in a courtroom setting, we will do everything possible to protect your future. For a free consultation, call 540-870-1144 (Winchester) or 571-384-1523 (Manassas) now.