Experienced Workplace Injury Lawyers in Richmond and Virginia Beach

Breit Cantor’s Workplace Injury Attorneys Help You Receive Compensation and Compassion Following Your Workplace Injury

Every day, thousands of workers across Virginia dedicate their lives to their jobs. In doing so, they assume their workplace is safe and, if the worst were to happen, their employers would protect and provide for them. 

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Every day, workers across Virginia are injured on the job. In 2019, American employers reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses, and 5,333 American workers died from workplace injuries

If you are injured at work, your employer likely has workers’ compensation insurance that will cover some of the expenses incurred as a result of your injury. However, your workplace may try to fight your workers’ compensation claim. You may also be entitled to compensation outside of workers’ compensation, such as remuneration for pain and suffering or for the role third parties played in your injury. 

In order to navigate the complex waters of workplace injury law in Virginia, it’s important to have experienced work injury attorneys on your side. The workplace injury attorneys in our Richmond and Virginia Beach offices will help you receive not only the compensation you deserve but compassionate understanding for your situation along the way. 

Contents

What Is a Workplace Injury?

Workplace injuries refer to injuries or illnesses that result from an employee’s job. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) regulations, these injuries might be directly caused by something in the job environment, or they may be pre-existing injuries that are exacerbated by the workplace environment. 

Workplace injuries often occur because the environment, like a construction site or mine, is unsafe. In other cases, workplace injuries are the result of repetitive movements or difficult tasks, like assembly line work or lifting heavy. 

Workplace Injury Damages vs Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation

The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act ensures that workers in our state who are injured on the job do not have to prove fault, as with other liability claims like premises liability or product liability. The act ensures all employers have worker’s compensation insurance, which provides injured employees with payment for expenses like medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation. 

While this act is supposed to protect and provide compensation to injured workers, it is not foolproof, nor does it cover all of your expenses following a workplace injury or illness. In some cases, a workplace or insurance company will attempt to minimize a claim to avoid paying workers everything they deserve. In other cases, workers deserve compensation outside of traditional workers’ compensation for things like pain and suffering. 

Workplace Injury Damages

Workplace injury damages can also address “Third Party Liability.” In these cases, the claim can provide additional compensation if your injury was the result of the negligence of a third party outside of your employer, such as the property owner or a negligent contractor. 

Pursuing a workplace injury damages case in Virginia ensures you receive recompense for non-economic recovery. Such a case can also help workers if injuries occurred gradually over time, which may not be covered by workers’ comp. 

Common Workplace Injury Sites

While employees are injured across different industries every day, workplace injuries in Virginia tend to occur more often in certain types of jobs. 

Industrial Workplaces

Industrial workplaces carry a higher risk of catastrophic injury or death than other jobs. This is because these environments are often chaotic. Industrial workplaces are typically home to heavy equipment and vehicles that create blind spots, pinch points, and other hazards that pose a massive risk. 

While the risk of injury is higher, the companies responsible for the worksites rarely take the responsibility for protecting those on the site seriously. Instead, they simply check the box on canned “safety training” crammed into early-morning meetings or a 30 minute lunch break.  Perhaps they don’t take their obligation for protecting lives seriously because they know they can’t be held responsible if their own employees are catastrophically injured or killed on the worksite.

Examples of industrial environments where workplace accidents may occur:

  • Construction sites
  • Factories
  • Mines
  • Warehouses
  • Oil rigs
  • Shipyards 

Outdoor Workplaces

Oftentimes, work that occurs outside is less regulated, which can result in more frequent workplace injuries. These positions also require tasks like heavy lifting, working at great heights, or heavy machinery, all of which make workers more vulnerable to injury. 

Employees who often experience workplace injuries include: 

  • Commercial loggers
  • Commercial fishermen
  • Recycle and garbage workers
  • Roofers
  • Iron and steelworkers
  • Utility workers
  • Agricultural workers
  • Firefighters 
  • Highway construction workers

Transportation Workplaces

Car accidents and trucking accidents are common areas of liability law. However, when these accidents occur while on the job, they may qualify for a workplace injury claim. 

Transportation workers injured on the job should consider pursuing workplace injury damages. These employees may include: 

  • Truck drivers
  • Taxi drivers
  • Rideshare drivers
  • Aircraft pilots

Common Virginia Workplace Injuries 

Workers may experience a variety of different injuries or illnesses while on the job. Some of these may be debilitating, while others may have a quick recovery. Regardless of the extent of your injury, you are due compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, or other expenses your injury may incur. 

Common workplace injuries include: 

  • Sprains, strains, and tears as a result of overuse or overexertion
  • Soreness or pain from repetitive tasks
  • Cuts, punctures, or lacerations from equipment, machinery, or products
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Vehicle accidents or forklift accidents
  • Exposure to toxic materials or chemical spills
  • Burns or injuries from fires or explosions
  • Injuries from falling objects, such as boxes in warehouses
  • Injuries resulting from defective or hazardous machinery
  • Falls from scaffolding or machinery

Building a Workplace Injury Case in Virginia

Following an injury or illness on the job, a workplace injury attorney can be your advocate and support system as you navigate the complicated case ahead. Whether you just want to ensure you receive your full workers’ compensation benefits or you want to pursue damages outside of workers’ compensation, the Virginia workplace injury attorneys of Breit Cantor can help.  

We work diligently and meticulously to build a strong case for each of our workplace injury clients, following these steps: 

  • Step 1: Spend time with you to learn all of the details about your case, including the circumstances around your injury, the medical care you received, and what you expect for the future. 
  • Step 2: Go over your legal rights. It’s important to us that you understand exactly what you are owed following the difficult experience of a workplace injury. 
  • Step 3: Review all of the documents associated with your injury, including your medical paperwork, notification of your injury, and workers’ comp policy. 
  • Step 4: Schedule meetings with your doctors and medical providers. This helps us provide detailed, expert testimony regarding your injuries.
  • Step 5: Pursue the compensation you are owed for your injuries. We’ll build a case using the evidence above to ensure you are able to move forward after your workplace injury. 

Statute of Limitations on Workplace Injuries in Virginia

According to the Workers’ Compensation Act, employees must file a workers’ compensation claim within two years of the injury. The statute of limitations for filing a workplace injury claim outside of workers’ compensation is also two years.

If you experience an illness or disease as a result of your work, you have two years from the date you learned the illness resulted from your employment to file the claim. Alternatively, you can file a claim within five years of the last time you were exposed while working. 

Failure to file a claim within two years can compromise your right to compensation. These cases can sometimes take a lot of time, so it’s important to contact a Virginia worker’s compensation attorney as quickly as possible. 

Types of Damages Awarded to Workplace Injury Victims in Virginia

If you or a loved one were injured or killed while working, you are entitled to compensation through workers’ compensation and possibly through a personal injury or wrongful death claim. 

In most workers’ compensation cases, victims of workplace injuries may receive four types of benefits: 

Medical Coverage

Your workers’ compensation should cover any medical expenses associated with the injury you sustained at work, including deductibles and copays. These medical expenses could include hospitalization or doctor visits, medication, surgery, medical equipment, including wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches, and nursing and physical rehabilitation care. 

Wage Benefits

If your injury or illness prevents you from working, you will be entitled to lost wages. These disability benefits cover a portion of the wages you are not able to earn because of your injury. Wage benefits should cover the entire time you are unable to work, whether that’s a few weeks or permanently.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational rehabilitation helps those who suffered an injury on the job return to work in a new position. These benefits could include job training, counseling, or recruitment assistance. 

Death Benefits

If your family member was killed while working, workers’ compensation may help you and your family move forward. These claims will cover funeral and burial expenses, as well as a sum of money. These benefits are available to the worker’s spouse, children, and dependents. 

You will undoubtedly experience pain and suffering, both physical and emotional, as a result of your workplace injury. While this is not covered by workers’ compensation, and you cannot sue your employer, you may be able to pursue a liability case against a negligent third party, such as the property owner or manufacturer of faulty equipment. 

What to Do After a Workplace Injury 

If you or a loved one are injured or even killed on the job, it’s important that you move quickly to ensure you receive compensation and support for your injuries. You should maintain detailed records of your injury and claims and seek the support of experienced Virginia workplace injury attorneys to ensure you avoid any mistakes. 

Following an injury, you should follow these steps: 

Step 1: Seek medical attention if necessary.

The most important thing is your health. Please immediately seek medical attention for your injury or illness if necessary. 

Step 2: Notify your supervisor or employer as soon as possible. 

Notify your supervisor or employer, in writing, of the details of your injury as soon as possible. Doing so creates a record of and timeline for your injury. You can not receive compensation for your injury, through worker’s compensation or otherwise, until you notify your employer. Reporting your injury requires your employer to take action. 

Step 3: Secure a medical report. 

Even if you do not need to seek immediate medical attention, it is important for you to obtain a medical report regarding your injuries. When you visit your doctor, be sure to include the details of your accident, injury, or illness, including your symptoms. Be very honest and specific.

Step 4: Contact a Virginia workplace injury law office. 

Once you have reported your injury to your workplace, they will begin pursuing your workers’ compensation claim. It’s important to quickly recruit an experienced workplace injury attorney so that you have an expert on your side throughout this process. 

A workplace injury lawyer like those at our Richmond and Virginia Beach offices will be able to help you decipher the paperwork shared by your employer’s insurance company to ensure you’re receiving just compensation. 

Your lawyer will also identify any other workplace injury cases you should pursue, such as third party liability. If a third party liability case is an option, you will need to prove that the third party’s negligence or action directly resulted in your injury and the expenses it incurred. 

Choosing an Experienced Virginia Workplace Injury Lawyer

Workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect Virginia workers, but unfortunately, it’s not so simple. Employers or insurance companies may try to minimize your claim, or you may be entitled to compensation outside of workers’ compensation. 

In order to navigate these complex cases and receive just compensation, you need an experienced workplace injury lawyer on your side like those at Breit Cantor. Our workplace injury attorneys can help you understand your options for claiming compensation from those responsible for your loss. We can also help you pick a doctor covered by your workers’ comp insurance, submit a recorded record to your insurance company, develop a timeline for your claim, and understand when to begin your search for “light duty” work. 

Just as importantly, we’ll serve as compassionate counsel throughout the course of your case. We understand the life-altering impact of a workplace injury, and we’re here to help you every step of the way. 

The Breit Cantor team has helped many injured workers and their families recover physically, emotionally, and financially. To learn how we can help you recover from a life-changing workplace injury or loss of a loved one, contact one of our attorneys today. 

Together, by holding the responsible companies and employers accountable for their actions, we may also help prevent the same or similar accidents from harming others in the future.

Workplace Injury Lawsuit FAQs

Should I get a lawyer if I got hurt at work?

Yes, you should hire a lawyer if you are injured on the job. A lawyer can help you receive the workers’ compensation damages you are due and possibly pursue additional damages from third parties.

Can you sue your employer in Virginia?

No, you cannot sue your employer in Virginia. However, you can hire a workplace injury attorney to ensure they pay you the workers’ compensation you are due. If you are injured on the job, you can also sue third parties, like the property owner or machine manufacturer, for their negligence or actions that contributed to your injury. 

Do I get full pay if injured at work?

Your employer is required to pay you for lost wages if you are injured at work, but it may only be a portion of your salary. According to Virginia law, if your injury prevents you from working, you are entitled to lost wage compensation of 66 and 2/3% of your normal wages

Why do employers fight workers comp claims?

Employers have many reasons to fight workers’ compensation claims. These claims may increase their workers’ compensation premium claims, so avoiding claims will help them save money. Employers may also want to discourage other employees from filing claims. Plus, a workers’ compensation case could result in bad press, and your employer may want to protect the company’s image.

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