Anytime an injured workers’ medical condition or losses are serious or significant, a lawyer should be consulted. In order to have protection for benefits (even if voluntary payments of wages and medicals have been made by the employer to the claimant) you must have an “award order” entered by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.
There are many deadlines (statutes of limitations) that prevent a claimant from being compensated for time out of work or obtaining medical care. Claims must be timely and appropriately filed in compliance with very technical workers’ compensation rules. If a disputed case goes to a hearing, there will always be a lawyer present for the employer and workers’ compensation carrier who will have superior knowledge about the case and as opposed to a claimant representing himself. If a case is not disputed other individuals who work for the employer and carrier (adjusters and nurse case managers) and handle the claim also have superior knowledge. In a perfect world, justice would be done regardless. However, the world is not perfect and there are many pitfalls and technical rules which can bar an injured worker’s right to wage and medical benefits for an otherwise completely compensable workers’ compensation claim.
If you have questions about these issues or anything else related to your workers’ compensation case, please give us a call at (804) 294-2966.