Richmond Workplace Accidents and Injuries Attorney
If your employer has more than two employees, they are required to carry workers’ compensation, according to Virginia law. As such, if you were injured on the job, you deserve workers’ compensation benefits, whether you were at fault, another party was at fault, or the incident was an unavoidable accident. In more serious cases of reckless behavior, your employer can be found liable in a personal injury lawsuit on top of the workers’ compensation claim if their actions constitute a willful and wanton disregard for your health and safety. In this case, you would be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits in addition to any lawsuit verdict or settlement. Here at the Richmond workplace accidents attorneys at of MichieHamlett, our attorneys can assist you with every step of this process.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance, paid to employees regardless of how the injury or illness was caused. Workers’ compensation benefits can also be pursued for overuse injuries, such as chronic back pain caused by an employee’s line of work over the last decade. Workers’ compensation benefits include full medical coverage and partial wage replacement, which is paid on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on the injury. The only scenarios in which an employee can be denied for benefits include:
- The injury is exaggerated or made up;
- The injury happened outside of work;
- The injury was a pre-existing condition;
- The employee was drunk or high at the time of the injury; or
- The injury was intentionally self-inflicted.
As such, employers often use one or more of the above to fight off workers’ compensation claims to keep their insurance premiums low. Or, you may face an argument from the insurance company itself.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Fatal workplace injuries in Virginia are on the rise, with over 150 fatalities in 2016, according to the BLS. In some of these, and many others in which a non fatal injury occurred, the employer acted recklessly, violated state or federal safety laws, or intentionally caused the accident. In these cases, an employee can file a personal injury claim against the employer in addition to filing for workers’ compensation benefits. A personal injury claim has much more value than workers comp benefits alone, as it allows the worker to recover full lost wages and future lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Reducing Clawback (Medical Insurance Lien)
Following a personal injury lawsuit verdict or settlement, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer may attempt to recover or “clawback” much of your compensation. For example, if you received $100,000 in medical and wage replacement benefits from the workers’ compensation claim, and you won a lawsuit for $150,000, the insurer may attempt to clawback the $100,000 years after the accident, leaving you with virtually nothing after attorney’s fees. An experienced attorney can limit clawback so that you are left with the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Contact a Richmond Workplace Accident and Injury Attorney Today
Employees are often steamrolled by their employers when they get hurt, and are even intimidated into not reporting the injury for fear of being fired. Do not let your employer deny the benefits you need and deserve. Fight back with the Richmond workplace injury and accident attorneys at MichieHamlett to schedule a free consultation.