Workplace Injury Lawyer
If you think your job puts you at risk for injuries or illnesses, you will want a clear understanding of workers’ compensation law. It’s important to know what to do in any situation, especially when it comes to your benefits. A Virginia workplace injury lawyer from MartinWren, P.C. offers you the following information about workers’ comp law.
Your employer has to have it.
Workers’ compensation is a requirement for all employers. It is a state-mandated insurance program that helps protect employees and prevent employers from being sued by employees. No matter who is to blame for the injury or illness, if it is covered under workers’ comp, you are entitled to benefits. This ensures that employees are safe and protected while at work, even if they don’t think they are working in an unsafe environment.
It varies from state to state.
Every state is required to have workers’ compensation, but each state has its own requirements. In Alabama, every business with five or more employees must have workers’ comp, while in Idaho employers with one or more employees must have coverage. In New York, pretty much every employer must have workers’ compensation coverage. If you are self-employed, you do not have to have coverage, but you can still purchase it if you’d like to have it. A Virginia workplace injury lawyer can explain what the laws are in our state and how these laws apply to your situation.
It does not cover every illness and injury.
Workers’ comp will cover most injuries, but it will not cover injuries that were caused by an employee’s drug or alcohol use, or alcohol recovery programs.
It will often not cover injuries that happen while the employee was violating company policy or was not actually at work. Chronic illness can be covered if you can prove that they were caused by long-term exposure at work, either to a substance or to a repeated position, such as daily lifting of heavy boxes. Check with your employer to see what is covered under the policy at your work.
Workers’ comp covers more than just medical bills.
Workers’ comp insurance will cover medical expenses related to diagnosing and treating your injury or illness. These expenses could include doctor’s visits, surgeries, and medication. Depending on the state, you could also have rehabilitation services covered by workers’ comp, which could include physical therapy or vocational rehabilitation. Workers’ comp can also provide you with disability payments if you are forced to miss work, but some states put a cap on how much disability they will pay through workers’ comp. Most states will even pay death benefits if an employee’s death is the result of a work-related injury or illness.
You might be able to handle your workers’ comp case without a lawyer.
If you suffer a minor injury or did not miss work for your injury or illness, you will probably be able to settle your case without a lawyer. It’s helpful if your employer admits that they are at fault and are willing to work with you. If your situation is more complicated, consult a Virginia workplace injury lawyer and see if he or she will be able to help you receive compensation.
Understanding workers’ compensation law is part of being a prepared employee. Know what is covered in Virginia and under the plan provided by your employer. Our law firm can help, call a Virginia workplace injury lawyer for help.
Workplace injuries in industrial, construction, transportation, law enforcement, and manufacturing settings are common due to the high number of inherent dangers that exist for certain jobs. Though some occupations have more risk of injuries than others, workplace injuries can strike in nearly any job. And, just like any other personal injury, workplace injuries cause financial difficulties to the injured victim.
Many Virginia workers who have been injured on the job often assume that their only course of relief is to recover financial benefits through the Virginia Workers Compensation Act. This is due in large part to what is known as the “workers compensation bar,” a legal doctrine in in Virginia that prevents an injured employee from recovering compensation directly from their employer for personal injuries suffered on the job.
While it is true that most injuries that occur in the workplace are covered by workers compensation insurance and do not permit a lawsuit to proceed, there are often a number of situations that allow an employee to bring a personal injury claim against a third party. And, in some instances, a worker can actually sue their employer for injuries that occur in the workplace.
Here are some of the situations where an employee may be able to reach a settlement or bring a lawsuit to recover compensation for work-related injuries:
- When the worker’s injuries are caused by unreasonably dangerous or defective products, the employee may have a products liability claim. This type of claim often occurs when an employee is using or is exposed to defective tools, equipment, chemicals, fumes or other items that are typically found on a job site and that cause an injury to the employee;
- Claims against co-employees, managers, supervisors, and even the employer for sexual assault against the employee that occurs in the workplace or is connected with work;
- Claims for assault and battery against the worker by visitors to the workplace. In some instances, the employee can proceed directly against the employer for harms that are suffered;
- Certain tort claims causing dignitary harms and damage but not resulting in physical injuries, such as intentional infliction of emotional distress and claims for defamation;
- Unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment claims against an employer;
- Certain occupational diseases, such as mesothelioma from asbestos exposure and inhalation of asbestos fibers;
- Premises liability claims, including slip and fall and trip and fall accidents that may occur on a third party’s property;
- Claims for violations of wage and hour laws, such as overtime violations or minimum wage violations; and
- Automobile accidents caused by negligent third parties, even if those accidents occur while the employee is in the course of employment.
If you or a loved one have suffered a workplace injury due to the negligent acts of another party or product, or the intentional acts of anyone, please contact MartinWren, P.C.’s Virginia workplace injury lawyers, Robert E. Byrne, Jr. or Kirk D. Becchi for a free consultation. We will be happy to meet with you at the hospital or your home, including on evenings or weekends.
You will not owe any legal fees unless we recover money for you.