If you suffer an injury on the job, your company’s workers’ compensation program is supposed to cover all your medical costs and provide you some income while you are injured. Unfortunately, the program does not always operate as it should.

If you have suffered a work-related injury, it is worthwhile to consult with an Augusta County workers’ compensation lawyer. A seasoned personal injury attorney could guide you through the system and advocate for you should your employer deny your claim or reduce your benefits.

Common Workplace Injuries

Workers’ compensation covers injuries that occur when an employee is on the job. Although this may seem straightforward, employers sometimes claim an injury is not work-related. When this occurs, it could be beneficial for an injured employee to seek guidance from a well-practiced attorney in the area.

Some common workplace injuries include:

  • Head trauma
  • Crushing injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Severe burns
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals

Any injury that occurs while the employee is at work or engaging in job-related activities could be covered under workers’ compensation, even if the employee was not performing his or her assigned job duties at the time of the incident. However, injuries that occur while an employee commutes to and from work are an exception.

What are the Benefits Under the Workers’ Compensation Program?

In addition to all necessary medical care, injured workers are entitled to collect two-thirds of their weekly pay through workers’ compensation, according to Virginia Code §65.2-500. However, there is a maximum benefit, which means that highly-paid workers might receive less than two-thirds of their income. There is also a minimum benefit, which means that lower-paid workers could potentially receive more than two-thirds of their salary.

All money that the employee takes home should be included in this calculation. That includes tips, commissions, bonuses, overtime pay, and other compensation. A workers’ compensation attorney in Augusta County could help ensure that the worker’s benefits are calculated on the basis of all his or her income, not just his or her hourly wage or salary.

Third-Party Claims

The workers’ compensation program prevents workers from suing their employers for injuries they sustained on the job. In most cases, recovery through the workers’ compensation program is all that will be available to an injured employee.

However, if the negligence of someone other than the employer or a fellow employee led to the injury, an injured worker might be able to bring a third-party claim. If successful, a third-party claim could offer the employee the opportunity to seek compensation for the part of his or her income that worker’s compensation does not cover, as well as damages for the employee’s physical pain, mental suffering, and any lifestyle changes the injury caused.

It could be possible to bring a third-party claim in situations in which the worker was injured:

  • In an automobile accident and another driver was at-fault
  • At an off-site location and the owner of the premises was negligent
  • Due to the negligent actions of an independent contractor
  • By a piece of defective equipment or machinery

A local workers’ compensation attorney could investigate all the circumstances surrounding an employee’s injury to determine whether a third-party claim might be advantageous.

Get in Touch with an Augusta County Workers’ Compensation Attorney

The workers’ compensation system can be complicated, especially for people who suffer a serious injury that will keep them off the job for an extended period. Employers and their insurers often exert considerable effort to minimize their payments to employees in this situation.

Call a compassionate Augusta County worker’s compensation lawyer for help understanding the system and maximizing the benefits you receive. To learn more, schedule a consultation with The Warren Firm today.