Virginia workers’ compensation laws: Debunking the common myths

Did you suffer injuries at the workplace? In Virginia, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, many injured workers do not seek the settlement they deserve because they are unaware of their legal options and rights. The workers’ compensation system is meant to help injured employees and workers by covering medical expenses and a considerable portion of the lost wages. Below are some common myths about Virginia workers compensation laws

Myth 1 – You have to report your injury on the same day

As an injured worker, you are required to report your injury to your employer. While you should do so immediately after the injury or as early as possible, it is not mandatory to report on the same day. As long as you report the injury within 30 days from the accident date, you should be able to get entitled workers’ compensation benefits. 

Myth 2 – You have to prove fault

There is no question of fault when it comes to workers’ compensation claims. It is a no-fault system, and no matter who or what caused the accident, you are entitled to your rights. Even if you had a role in causing the accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. 

Myth 3 – You can sue your employer

All employers in Virginia are required to pay for workers’ compensation insurance, but that also gives them an advantage – An injured worker cannot sue their employer directly. In other words, you cannot claim that your employer was negligent or at fault for the accident. However, there are exceptions to this. For instance, if your employer fired you from the job because you reported your injury, you can take legal action. 

Myth 4 – The insurance company will help you

Your employer pays for workers’ compensation insurance. However, it is the insurance company that pays out the benefits. The claims adjuster will try to deny your claim or downplay your injuries. Do not expect the insurance company to act fairly or compassionately. This is one of the many reasons why you need an attorney. 

Myth 5 – All injuries are covered 

That’s not true. Your workplace injury must have some correlation with the work you do. For instance, if you tripped in the bathroom and injured yourself, you may not have a valid workers’ compensation claim. Talk to a good lawyer to know whether you can file a claim. 

Almost all attorneys in Virginia offer a free initial consultation for clients.