Workplace injuries are covered under the Virginia Workers Compensation Act of the Code of Virginia. They include injury by accident or occupational illness which arises out of and in the course of your employment. The injury or condition must be reported as soon as possible to the employer so that the employer’s insurer can begin directing treatment for the employee. The Workers Compensation Commission of Virginia administers claims for workers employed in Virginia, unless their job is with an employer subject to federal law, such as longshoremen and harbor workers or railroad employees. Benefits available to the employee may include an award for lifetime medical treatment, lost wages, mileage, out-of-pocket expenses, and lump sum compensation for a permanent injury or occupational illness. We have represented employees with injuries which range from back injury to amputation, and from brain injury to death.
Mr. Hoen has more than seventeen years of practice as a litigator on the Peninsula, servicing hundreds of clients and establishing a network of resources and contacts in both the legal and medical fields throughout Hampton Roads. He has extensive experience in developing, evaluating, negotiating and, when necessary, trying contested cases. Having an able and effective advocate levels the playing field for an injured client, who would otherwise be at the mercy of an insurance company’s case manager or defense attorney. Serving injured people and workers is the main focus of our practice. We do it well, and it’s all we do.
Fees in worker’s compensation cases must be approved by the Commission. Hearings are usually before a Deputy Commissioner, unless an appeal is necessary. In some cases, mediation is an option. There are no jury trials in worker’s compensation cases, so the attorney fees are lower than in other types of personal injury cases. Standard fees are 15% for most routine cases resulting in an award, and 20% when there is a lump sum settlement negotiated for the client. When a case needs to be appealed to the Full Commission or the Court of Appeals, there is a 25% fee.
Following a workplace accident in Virginia, it is important that you take certain measures right away in order to protect your health and your ability to collect workers’ compensation benefits. You should first obtain emergency medical treatment if you suffered life-threatening injuries or believe that emergency medical attention is necessary. Next, be certain to inform your employer of the accident within 30 days. It is preferable to make notification in writing, if possible. Finally, you have two years from the date of your accident to file your claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Please contact our office as soon as possible.