Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

What rights do injured employees have?

Virginia workers work hard each day at their jobs. Most workplaces are safe and have effective workplace safety provisions in place. But, for some Virginia workers, workplace accidents occur that cause serious injuries and even death. For those workers who have been injured at their job, what rights do they have?

Virginia workers who have been injured at work may be eligible for workers' compensation. Workers' compensation insurance is required to be carried by most employers. In order for the injury to be covered the accident must have happened at work or during a work function, caused by a work activity and happen at a specific time. A worker may also be eligible for workers' compensation if the worker suffered from an occupational disease that was caused by work.

If an employee has been injured at work they should report the person's injury immediately. Injuries at work must be reported within 30 days from the date the accident occurs. Benefits to injured employees may include temporary or partial wage replacement depending on the injury and lifetime medical benefits for the injury. For those who suffered from permanent disability they may also be eligible for permanent partial impairment, lifetime wage benefits for total disability, death benefits to surviving spouses and children under 18 and cost of living increase on temporary and permanent total and death benefits.

Workers who are injured on the job can face serious injuries or even death. Workers' compensation can help these employees recover from their injuries and return to work. If they're unable to work they can still receive benefits for permanent injuries.

Source: Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission, "Injured workers," accessed on Nov. 9, 2014

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