Workers' Compensation Questions
A worker must file a claim for workers' compensation benefits within 2 years of the date of accident. For most occupational diseases, you must file a claim within two years of the date you were told the disease was caused by your work and within five years of the date you were last exposed at work.
In order to be covered, an "accident" must:
- Occur at work or during a work-related function.
- Be caused by a specific work activity.
- Happen suddenly at a specific time. (Injuries incurred gradually or from repetitive trauma are not covered, although certain diseases caused by repetitive trauma are covered.)
- Be caused by the work.
- Not be a disease of the back, neck, or spinal column.
- Report the Accident: Give verbal or written notice to your employer immediately of any accident at work that causes pain, injury or illness. The notice must include the name and address of the employee, the time and place of the accident, and the nature and cause of the accident and injury.
- See a Doctor: Get an immediate medical examination to determine the reason for your pain and the extent of your injury or illness. In Virginia, if the employer gives you a panel of doctors, you must choose one from their list; otherwise, you can go to any doctor you select.
- Do NOT Provide a Recorded Statement: Once the workers' compensation insurance company receives notification of your work injury, they will attempt to contact you in order to get a recorded statement of the events that led to your injury. DO NOT PROVIDE ONE.
- File a Claim: Every injured employee MUST file a written claim with the Workers' Compensation Commission within TWO YEARS from the date of the accident or any right to benefits may be lost. Claim forms can be obtained from any office of the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission or we can file one for you.
- Take place at work or during a work-related function
- Be caused by a specific activity
- Happen suddenly at a specific activity