Virginia Workers Compensation Laws

Virginia workers compensation laws have been in place since January 1, 1919. Virginia is the 37th state that enacted special laws to protect workers against occupation injuries. These laws make employers liable to pay monetary benefits to workers who suffer from work-related injuries or illnesses. For this, employers are legally required to carry proper insurance coverage either from a private insurance carrier or through a self-insured program.

Workers Compensation Commission In Virginia

The Virginia workers compensation laws are enforced by the state commission of occupational injuries. Employees and employers can contact the agency to find detailed information about their rights and options in cases of compensation claims regarding work-related injuries. The office of the Commission is located at Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, 1000 DMV Drive, Richmond, VA 23220. You can also call them at 804-367-9740 or visit their official website at vwc.state.va.us.

Penalty For Employers For Failure To Meet Insurance Requirements

There are also provisions for certain penalty charges under the Virginia workers compensation laws for those employers who do not meet the insurance requirements properly. The initial monetary fine can be up to $5000. Employers are also required to provide detailed information about the workers compensation to their employees. They must post this information at a visible place at the workplace so that the employees could be made aware of their rights and options regarding compensation claims in case they suffer from injuries or illnesses while performing their jobs.

Reporting Requirements

There are certain reporting requirements for employees also. As per the Virginia workers compensation laws, an injured worker must file a compensation claim within two years from the date when a physician certifies that the injury is work-related. In any case, the compensation claim must be filed within five years from the actual date of the accident. The sooner you file the report, the better are your chances of getting appropriate compensation benefits.

Waiting Period And Retroactive Compensation

It is also important to note that an injured employee does not qualify for occupational injury compensation benefits right from the first day of the accident. Virginia workers compensation laws have imposed a waiting period of seven days. If the disability continues for over seven days and you are still unable to return to work, you can ask for compensation benefits from your employer from the 8th day. However, in cases, where the disability continues for over three weeks, the compensation benefits must be paid right from the first day. It means you will still be paid from the 8th day but the payments will be calculated from the first day of the accident.

As far as the selection of the doctor is convened, Virginia workers compensation laws require employers to maintain a list of approved doctors. Employees are free to make initial selection of the doctor but they must choose a physician from the list maintained by their employer.