Workers Compensation Lawyer Roanoke, VA
With a population of approximately 100,000, and a greater metro population of over 300,000, Roanoke is home to thousands of thriving businesses, including those in retail, manufacturing, and services.
As with all companies, employees are inevitably injured while on the job. Fortunately, most injuries are minor and don’t require missed work. Other injuries, however, are much more serious, and can involve significant lost work time or even permanent disability.
At our firm, we help injured workers get both the full compensation and the treatment to which they are entitled under the law. In addition, if a worker is injured on the job due to the negligence of another company (such as a subcontractor or the manufacturer of a defective product), we are additionally able to represent the worker against such other entity in a personal injury claim.
We offer a free consultation, and Contingency Fee Representation – We Invite you to call us today.
About Worker’s Compensation in Virginia
In Virginia, nearly all employers are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance to pay for any liability that may occur if a worker is injured on the job.
If you’ve been injured at work, you are entitled to worker’s compensation. This is typically the sole remedy for injured workers against their employer.
If you have been injured at work in Virginia, in addition to seeking prompt medical treatment, you should also file a claim as soon as possible with your employer. Your employer should have the necessary paperwork that needs to be completed. It’s important that your employer be notified quickly after your injury; otherwise, the worker’s compensation insurance carrier for your employer may question whether you were really hurt on the job.
How Much do the Best Worker’s Compensation Lawyers Charge in Virginia?
In Virginia, worker’s compensation lawyers charge a contingency fee, and under Virginia law, that fee cannot exceed 20% of the compensation that is recovered for an injured worker after costs are deducted. If compensation is not recovered, then no fee is due.
Because of this statutory requirement (and assuming that lawyers will all charge the maximum percentage allowed under Virginia law), it does not cost any more to retain the best Virginia worker’s compensation lawyer who may have decades of experience over a lawyer having significantly less experience.
This maximum contingency fee percentage applies irrespective of whether a case is settled in a hearing, or if the case must be litigated in court.
In some instances, the percentage fee may be less than 20%. When we meet with you, we can explain how the applicable fee is calculated, and this information will also be part of our retention agreement. We will be happy to answer any questions that you might have, as we want to make sure that all clients are fully informed about all aspects of their case.
I’m Not Sure if I Should File a Worker’s Compensation Case – What if I’m Fired?
Under the law, workers cannot be fired for exercising certain rights, including the right to file a worker’s compensation claim. In addition to not being able to fire you, your employer cannot take any retaliatory action against you if you file a worker’s compensation claim. If they do fire you or take retaliatory action against you, you will have another (and separate) cause of action that you can file against them (such as an action for wrongful termination).
How is the Benefit for a Worker’s Compensation Claim Calculated in Virginia?
The benefit for a worker’s compensation claim will depend upon if a worker is temporarily disabled, permanently disabled, or has suffered a permanent partial disability (such as if a worker lost a limb in a workplace accident).
If a worker is temporarily disabled and cannot return to work for a period of time, the worker is entitled to two-thirds of their wages while they are off work; however, the weekly amount of wages is subject to a maximum cap (as of July, 2019, this cap is $1,102, and the minimum amount is $275). A worker is allowed to be off work until they are cleared to begin working again, or until they have reached a condition called “maximum medical improvement” (or “MMI”). MMI means that the worker has recovered to a point at which no future meaningful medical recovery is expected.
How Insurers Often Challenge and Seek to Deny Worker’s Compensation Benefits
As we all know, insurance companies naturally wish to avoid or minimize claim payouts. In the worker’s compensation arena, there are a few standard arguments that insurance companies frequently make in an attempt to minimize claim payouts, including:
- Challenging the treatment prescribed by physicians as not being “medically necessary.” If you’ve been hurt, naturally you’ll want to get the best treatment available so that you can return to work, if possible, as soon as practical. Sometimes treatment that is desired may be expensive. Insurance companies are required to pay for treatment that is reasonably necessary to help an injured worker get better; but they may not be required to pay for treatment that is “therapeutic” (or not designed to actually improve an injury).
- Challenging the degree to which you are injured and cannot perform certain elements of your job (often referred to as “impairment”). Not all injuries are clearly shown on MRI’s, x-rays, or other medical testing results. Many injuries (often called “soft tissue injuries”) can affect a person’s back, neck, shoulders, arms, legs, and other body parts. These injuries cannot only be painful, but they can also be debilitating. When the results of injuries cannot clearly be seen on matters such as x-rays or MRI’s, an insurance company may claim that the injury either does not really exist, or that it is not as severe as being claimed by an injured worker.
- Challenging your claim of being injured on the job. One of the most effective ways that an insurance company can avoid liability is to claim that the worker was not, in fact, injured on the job. In this scenario, the insurance company may claim that either an injury did not occur at all, or that the worker was injured before coming to work (maybe in a weekend sporting event). If an injury is not promptly reported, an insurance company may also use this fact in claiming that an injury did not occur on the job.
As a Roanoke worker’s compensation lawyer, I understand. I not only help clients to be prepared for these tactics, but I and my firm are also experienced in refuting such wrongful claims. I fight for full and fair compensation for clients under the Virginia worker’s compensation statutes.
Law offices of Mark T. Hurt represent clients throughout the hearings process, and, if necessary, appeals therefrom.
With nearly 30 years of practicing law, I am experienced in fighting for the rights of those injured and their families. I have fought for clients throughout Virginia state courts, the federal courts for Virginia, and even at the Supreme Court of the United States.
What Worker’s Compensation Benefits Apply in Your Case? Call Me for a Free Consultation and Case Evaluation
If you have already received an award that is fair and based on the law, and there is nothing more that I can do legally to help your case, I will advise you of this conclusion. If, however, you are not being treated fairly, and you are due additional compensation under the law, I can explain about how I can help, and the types of additional compensation to which I believe you may be due.