Richmond Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Strength to Injured Workers in Virginia
Workers’ compensation benefits can help injured employees get back on their feet after taking time off work. However, employers and insurers alike try to deter people from using workers’ compensation because it costs them money. If you need to file a claim, then you should expect some resistance.
Call our Richmond, Virginia workers’ compensation attorneys from Portner & Shure, P.A. to get your case started the right way. We have spent more than 25 years representing and litigating for the wrongfully injured of Virginia, including many, many people who were hurt during the course of their employment. We have also represented people from all industries, backgrounds, and communities, including local Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Hispanic, and Latinx communities.
Choose legal champions who care. Contact us by dialing (855) 954-4141 now.
What is a Compensable Claim?
In order to have a viable workers’ compensation claim in Virginia, the injured worker must have been an employee. Virginia law classifies any individual that is employed part-time, seasonably, or even a trainee as an employee unless stated specifically otherwise as an independent contractor. For an employee to have a valid workers’ compensation claim, the employee must have performing an activity related to work when they were injured, sometimes only during work hours, too.
Common Injuries in Workers’ Comp Claims
Workers’ compensation claims arise from a variety of incidents and accidents that unfold every day in workplaces around Richmond, Virginia.
Some of these most common incidents include:
- Slip and falls
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Falling objects
- Crashes and collisions
- Burns from fires or chemical exposure
Benefits Made Available to Injured Employees
The Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) provides several benefits to injured workers. Under Virginia law, employers with three or more employees are required to buy workers’ compensation insurance that can provide the necessary benefits as outlined by the WCC. The primary benefit available to injured workers is that workers’ compensation insurance must pay for their necessary medical expenses if those treatments are completed by an approved, in-network doctor.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides several other benefits including:
- Temporary partial disability benefits: If an injured worker is only able to return to work in a limited or reduced capacity, this benefit provides two-thirds of the difference between the worker’s pre-injury wages and the post-injury wage.
- Temporary total disability benefits: If an injured worker is unable to return to work, this benefit pays the injured worker two-thirds of their average weekly wage.
- Vocational rehabilitation: If an injured worker is unable to return to work, this benefit provides retraining and job placement services.
- Permanent partial disability benefits: When an injured worker reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI), this benefit provides a financial award based on the percentage that an injured worker is permanently impaired.
- Permanent total disability benefits: If an injured worker is totally disabled, this benefit provides lifetime weekly payments.
- Death benefits: This benefit provides funeral expenses and lifetime wage benefits the family of a deceased worker.
More Virginia Laws About Workers’ Comp
To qualify for benefits, injured workers must fulfill several legal requirements. The worker must report the injury to the employer within 30 days of the injury. A formal claim must be filed with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission within two years of the injury. If an injured employee fails to file the claim within two years, they are forever barred from pursuing the claim.
Defenses Your Claim Might Encounter
Employers and insurance companies frequently invoke the defenses of willful misconduct and intoxication when defending workers’ compensation claims. Both defenses preclude an injured employee from making a claim if they are upheld in court. Willful misconduct is a defense in which the employer claims that the worker’s claim is barred because the worker failed to follow a rule and knowingly put themselves in unreasonable danger.
The elements of willful misconduct are:
- A reasonable safety rule existed
- The employee knew of the safety rule
- The rule was designed for the employee’s benefit
- The employee intentionally undertook the forbidden act
With regards to intoxication, this defense also bars a workers’ compensation claim if true. For an employer to succeed with this defense, they must prove that the worker was intoxicated at the time of the injury and that the intoxication caused their injury.
Pick Us & Let Us Get to Work for You
You deserve to get your life back on track after a serious workplace injury, but a stubborn workers’ compensation company will make that difficult. Leave the legal fights up to Portner & Shure, P.A. Our team of Richmond workers’ comp lawyers is ready to stand up in your name, both in and out of court. We do not rest until our clients are given the best possible outcome.
Schedule a free consultation with our team by dialing (855) 954-4141.