Although employees may do everything in their power to be cautious while on the job, accidents and injuries still happen every day. Fortunately, injuries that are sustained at the workplace may be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. If you or a loved one has been injured while in the line of work, you may have a claim for workers’ compensation.

However, if employers do not provide workers with the compensation they deserve, an experienced local attorney may need to be brought in. A skilled Staunton workers’ compensation lawyer could assist you with the process of making a claim and answer any questions you may have.

When are Injuries Covered by Workers’ Comp?

Under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, employers of two or more regular employees carry workers’ compensation insurance. To be eligible for workers’ compensation, the employee must have sustained the injury while performing a task on the employers’ behalf or in the course of working.

To secure their right to claim benefits, employees who are injured on the job should disclose their injury to their employer immediately. While the law gives employees 30 days to disclose the accident to their employer in writing, but it is best to do so as soon as possible to avoid the risk of losing rights to benefits. Injured employees must also file their claims with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission within two years of the date of the injury. A workers’ comp lawyer in Staunton could help injured employees meet these deadlines to avoid losing the right to claim benefits.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

The payouts that injured employees receive for total incapacity are generally 66 and 2/3 percent of the wage they earned before their injury occurred. However, there is also a cap and a minimum on this amount, which is based on the average wage of Virginia. The minimum is 25 percent of the average weekly wage and the maximum is 100 percent of the average state wage. The duration of such payments varies and depends upon the specific injury.

If the workplace injury results in partial incapacity and the employee can still do light tasks, workers’ compensation is still available to make up part of the difference between the pre-injury and post-injury wage.

Barriers to Workers’ Compensation in Staunton

If the injured employee has engaged in certain types of conduct, no workers’ compensation will be awarded. This include when the injury was caused by an employee’s:

  • Willful misconduct
  • Intentionally self-inflicted injury
  • Intention to injure somebody else
  • Intoxication or use of a non-prescribed controlled substance
  • Violation of reasonable rules
  • Failure to use a safety appliance or perform a duty that the statute requires

If the employer claims that the worker was intoxicated at the time of the injury, the burden of proof lies with the employer to show that the employee was intoxicated. An experienced Staunton attorney could assist injured employees pursue their workers’ compensation claims by gathering evidence to help refute any accusations of intoxication, misconduct, and intentional injury.

Speak with a Staunton Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today

Workers’ compensation is outlined very specifically within Virginia law. Due to the deadlines to make these claims, time is of the essence when it comes to workers’ compensation. If you have been hurt at the workplace, seek the appropriate medical care immediately, and do not delay in securing your legal representation. To avoid missing your window to claim benefits, call a Staunton workers’ compensation lawyer today.