The moments following a workplace accident in Virginia are crucial. Failing to take the proper steps can not only cause you further physical injury but it can also cause you difficulties in obtaining worker’s compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits are typically available in cases where an employee has suffered an injury or become ill while on the job. It typically does not matter for workers’ compensation purposes how the injury occurred or whether the employee’s own negligence played a role in the accident. Workers’ compensation benefits must be sought in compliance with the relevant laws and regulations, however: failing to comply with claim submission requirements or timelines can result in the loss of benefits to which the employee might have been entitled.
Your first concern after a workplace accident is your own health and wellbeing. Determine if you have suffered injuries that require emergency medical care. If so, you should summon immediate assistance and/or travel directly to an emergency room. Do not delay in seeking medical treatment as your injuries may become more severe with the passage of time. If you are unsure as to whether you need emergency care, err on the side of caution and go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away. When you arrive, be sure to tell medical staff that you were injured on the job.
You should next notify your employer of the workplace accident so that he or she can notify the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission of the incident. The law provides you with 30 days within which to provide notice to your employer. That is, you must notify your employer of the accident within 30 days of the accident or within 30 days of being told by a doctor that your injuries are workplace-related. While the law does not specify how this notification is to be made, it is generally advisable to provide oral notification and then follow this notification up later with timely written notification. Failing to notify your employer can be grounds for denying your claim.
If you are not suffering from life-threatening injuries, you should notify your employer right away of your accident. Your employer may direct you to a specific medical provider to receive treatment.
The final initial step in your workers’ compensation claim is filing your claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. The Commission’s website provides a number of ways by which you can file your claim. Your claim must be filed within two years of your workplace accident: if not, any injuries or damage you suffered as a result of that workplace accident may not be compensated.
Hampton Injury Law is here to help Virginia workers understand and assert their rights following a workplace accident. Contact attorney Jan Hoen today to discuss your workers’ compensation concerns by calling (757) 838-1173 or contacting his firm online.