Each year, Virginia records 7600 occupational injuries and illnesses that result in hospital visits and days away from work. The Virginia state laws require every employer with three or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance that provides specific benefits to injured workers. If you or a loved one was injured at work, some of the questions that frequently cross your mind are what amount would be offered as compensation and whether the claim is worth all the trouble.
Determining whether a workers’ compensation claim is worth pursuing involves evaluating several factors, some of which are complex to decipher. It’s advisable to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney to guide you through the entire claims process.
At Renfro & Renfro, PLLC, our compassionate lawyers have vast experience working on workers’ compensation claims. We can help determine your eligibility and the fair compensation amount for your losses.
Factors to Consider Before Pursuing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
While most workers in Virginia who make workers’ comp claims receive some sort of payout, the amounts they receive can vary from one case to another. Here are some of the factors that can affect your workers’ comp claim amount:
Type of Injury Sustained
Generally, the more severe your injuries are, the higher the value assigned. If you suffered impactful injuries resulting in disability, chronic pain, or long-term medical treatment, your case would ultimately be worth it. Injuries that prevent you from going back to your previous profession are generally valued higher. On the other hand, if you suffered minor injuries that don’t significantly affect your employment or quality of life, the claim may have limited value.
Medical Expenses Incurred
Another factor that will likely determine the value of your claim is the medical expenses related to your injuries. This includes doctor visits, hospitalization, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and ongoing treatment. If your injury requires extensive medical care, the claim may be more valuable and worth pursuing. Injuries that necessitate ongoing or future medical treatment are typically valued higher than those that require speculative treatment. Similarly, if your injuries require future surgeries or ongoing physical therapy and medications, the settlement value may increase substantially.
Rehabilitation and Vocational Training
Your workers’ compensation benefits can cover rehabilitation or vocational training to help you return to work soon or find an alternative job. Rehabilitation benefits under workers’ compensation typically aim to help injured workers recover and regain their functional abilities. These benefits may include medical treatments, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and vocational rehabilitation services. Usually, if it is determined you need such programs, the value of your claim will go up. Importantly, if your claim is likely to attract rehabilitation or vocational training benefits, it is a valuable claim worth pursuing.
Wage Loss and Future Earnings
Apart from resulting in days of missed work, on-the-job injuries can also derail a promising career and prevent you from returning to your pre-injury job. This is why wage loss and lost future earning capacity are crucial when calculating the settlement amount that a Virginia worker should receive after a work-related injury. To determine whether your compensation claim is worth it, take time to calculate the wages you have lost due to missed work and any potential future earnings you may lose because of the injury. If the injury has caused or will cause significant income reduction, it can significantly impact the value of your claim.
Legal Fees and Expenses
You will likely incur potential legal costs when pursuing a workers’ compensation claim. As mentioned earlier, navigating legal procedures can be daunting, especially when you are still nursing your injuries. You may need an experienced attorney to file your claim and fight for a fair settlement amount consummate to the injuries suffered. Typically, workers’ compensation attorney’s work on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you get paid. Most workers’ compensation attorney’s charge a 20% attorney’s fee on any settlement and the Workers’ Compensation Commission may also award your attorney a fee if they are successful in securing you benefits. All attorney’s fees are deducted from the amount owed to you by the insurance company.
Engage an Experienced Virginia Workers Injury Lawyer
If you get hurt at work, you are legally entitled to worker’s compensation benefits to cover your injuries and other losses. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t like paying out much on claims. As a result, you always risk being offered a lowball settlement than what is reasonable to cover the immediate and long-term costs of your injuries or occupational illnesses.
At Renfro & Renfro, PLLC, we understand the intricacies of workers’ comp law and will provide you with accurate legal advice to protect your rights and maximize your claims. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (804) 601-4433 or contacting us online.
We look forward to working with you!