The most common mistake we see in terms of potential client who come to us with Virginia work injuries, is the failure to document their injury, or their disability. So many times an injured workers tells us that they are unable to work, but have no medical records or documents to support that claim. Part of the problem is that these injured workers have entered a medical-legal setting where they must be able to prove to the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company why they are entitled to receive benefits. The Insurance Company will be constantly looking over your shoulder. If you don’t attend a doctor visit, they will want an explanation. If you fail to obtain a disability slip from your doctor, they won’t pay any wage benefits. If you can’t prove you went to the doctor’s office because you have been unable to get copies of your medical records, they may not pay your mileage reimbursement. If you fail to show up for light duty, you will be fired. As a result of the adversarial nature of a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Claim, the injured workers need a different approach to assure that they receive all they are due under the law.
Here are some suggestions, which should help:
- Don’t take anyone’s word for it. Get it in writing. It is not good enough that the doctor says you can’t work, get a disability slip which states you can’t. Make sure you know for how long the doctor has taken you off of work, and be sure to return to your physician before your disability runs out. Every Workers Compensation doctor is familiar with disability slips and should not have any problem with giving you one, if necessary.
- Make sure you promptly get copies of your medical records. Nothing helps you more in the course of your claim than having copies of your medical records.
- If your employer doesn’t have light duty available to you, get something that states that.
There are any number so different ways that you can go about protecting yourself just by getting the proper documentation should anyone question what is happening in your case. The most important thing to remember is that a workers compensation claim is a legal proceeding. You need to follow the law, and you will be held to a high standard should you decide to represent yourself. Taking a few simple steps will allow you to avoid headaches later in the claim.
- 2008 Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission Revised Award Agreement
- LIST OF COMMON TERMS OR ACRONYMS USED IN WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIMS
- New Forms from the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission
- Fairfax Workers' Comp Lawyers – Fairfax Workers Comp Accidents
- Alexandria City Reports on Workers Compensation Cost Containment