Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

The worker's responsibility, per Virginia's workers' comp law

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As residents in Danville, Virginia, most likely know, most Virginia workers are covered by the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act. If a worker is injured on the job or contracts an occupational disease, then the worker should follow the steps outlined by the state's workers' compensation laws to gain compensation for the injury or condition suffered.

An employee should immediately provide notice in writing about the injury to the employer. That notice must contain the date the worker was injured, among other facts. Along with written notice, the employee is also expected to file a formal request for workers' compensation with the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission. The compensation requested may cover the entire period of disability from the injury, and this request must be filed no later than a week after the workplace accident.

If the workplace injury proves fatal, then the notice must be filed by the worker's dependents for their benefit. If an agreement between the employee and employer cannot be reached, then the worker needs to file a case with the Workers' Compensation Commission within a period of two years of the notification of the injury. If the employee has contracted an occupational disease, then the case has to be filed within two years of the filing of the initial complaint or diagnosis of the disease.

If the employee expects treatment to extend beyond two years and there has been no award, then the employee should file an additional claim with the Virginia commission. It is important to note that the employer's filing of a report about the workplace accident is not the same as an employee filing a claim with the commission. If the employer pays voluntary wages or compensation during the time the worker is disabled, it does not change the time limitation for filing a claim.

Source: vwc.state.va.us, "Workers' Compensation Notice," Accessed on Aug.7, 2015

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