Workers in Virginia who are exposed to hazardous work environments may fall victim to workplace accidents. Oftentimes, these work-related injuries occur during working hours and drive low-wage workers deeper into poverty, pushing the workers into economic hardship. Workers in Virginia are entitled to file a claim for worker's compensation benefits under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act if they are injured on the job.
It is important for all workers to file a claim with the Workers' Compensation Commission within two years from the date of their injury. If a claim is accepted by the claim administrator, the worker is provided with an Award Agreement, which needs to be signed by all parties. Once the agreement is signed, it needs to be filed with the Commission, which then enters an Award order to protect the rights of the injured worker.
If the worker does not receive an Award Order from the Commission, filing a claim within two years of the accident is a must. Workers also need to ensure that they are filing for original claims, as getting compensation from a claims administrator is not sufficient. Your rights are not fully protected unless you receive an Award Order from the Commission. Every body part that is injured due to the workplace accident should be included in the claim.
However, workers need to also bear in mind that as soon as a worker gets injured it should be brought into the employer's notice immediately. If the worker fails to give notice to the employer within thirty days, the worker could lose the rights to filing for the compensation.
Source: WorkComp.Virginia.gov, "The Flow of a Virginia Workers' Compensation Claim", accessed on March 5, 2015