Who Should I Notify About My Workers’ Comp Claim?
You?ve hurt yourself at work or believe your illness is an occupational disease. Now what? You may be wondering what to do and asking yourself: Who should I notify about my workers’ comp claim?
That?s a great question because to receive benefits under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act), certain procedures such as notice must be followed by injured or ill employees. Not only must you notify your employer of your workers’ comp claim, but you?ll also want to strongly consider talking to the workers’ compensation attorneys at Lugar Injury Law. Our Roanoke lawyers help injured workers get the benefits they deserve so they can concentrate on healing. Contact us at (540) 384-0348 for a free consultation about your workplace injury.
After a Workplace Accident or Occupational Disease Diagnosis
If you are hurt at work, first seek emergency medical care if necessary. Once medically stable, you need to give notice of your injury or occupational illness to the following:
1. Your Employer and the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission
If you are injured or diagnosed with an occupational disease, you must immediately notify your employer. The notice must be in writing and should include the type of injury/illness and date of the accident or diagnosis. Under the Act, you must provide this notice within 30 days of your accident or diagnosis.
Make sure you check your employee handbook or ask a manager or your Human Resources department about any company required procedures for reporting an injury at work. Many companies have a policy and documents for instances of injury or illness that occur on the job. Following company rules and the Act is important to protect your workers’ comp claim and to avoid discipline for failing to do so.
Prompt notice of a workers’ comp claim for compensation of disabilities lasting more than seven days must also be given to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. In the case of employees who are killed on the job, the notice can be provided by dependents of the deceased.
2. The Treating Physician
Once you report the accident to your employer, you must be given the names of at least three doctors who can treat you. You may select any from the list given. Getting prompt medical treatment is vital to your recovery and essential to understanding and pursuing your compensation needs. Always follow the advice of your doctor and do not miss appointments.
3. A Workers’ Comp Attorney
Many employees are hesitant about reporting workplace accidents. They don?t want to be averse to their employers and worry about possible retaliation for pursuing their workers’ compensation claim. But if you are injured at work or receive an occupational disease diagnosis, you deserve to be compensated as set forth under the Act. Our workers’ comp attorneys will safeguard your legal rights.
Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim
Don?t be confused about the notice you must give of your workers’ comp claim and the actual filing of a claim. To have a valid claim for workers’ compensation, your injury or illness must: (1) occur at work or during a work-related function, (2) be the result of a specific work activity, or (3) have suddenly happened at a certain time. Filling out an employer?s accident report is not the same as filing a claim. This is an important distinction. Even if your employer is voluntarily paying wages or medical expenses during your work-related disability, you need to file a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission within two years from the date of the accident or diagnosis.
We?ll Fight for Your Workers’ Comp Claim
When you?ve been hurt at work, your first thought may be to minimize the injury to not ?rock-the-boat.? But the state?s workers’ compensation exists to help workers hurt on the job. You may be entitled to benefits for medical expenses and wage losses. Because there are legal procedures that must be followed to protect your claim, you need experienced workers’ compensation attorneys on your side. Call us today at (540) 384-0348 for a free consultation to discuss your workers’ comp claim.