Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer Robert Walsh is often asked: “If the Workers Compensation Insurance Company is paying my medical bills and wage loss, I’m all set, right ?” The short answer is, “NO.” Compensation insurance companies may voluntarily pay for medical care or lost wages, and it seems as though they do so for commendable reasons. However, Rutter Mills workers compensation lawyers have seen too many cases where the insurance company cut off benefits after getting a taped statement; a favorable medical report; a nurse’s suggestion; a private investigator’s report; videotape; or word from their lawyers that the time limit has run out against the injured worker’s claim. Filing an accident report with the employer or insurer is not sufficient; the claim MUST be timely filed with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission.
This is why it is so important to the Robert Walsh’s workers comp trial team to get the claim properly filed and an AWARD entered in Virginia. An AWARD is a Court Order, from the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission that sets forth the “who, what, where, etc.” and calls for the payments of wage loss and other kinds of compensation benefits, including medical care. It does not matter if the worker has sustained a brain injury, a herniated disc in their spine that paralyzes them or has been killed. The “clock” starts running immediately. Even those job accidents that involve car or truck crashes or other potential “third party liability” claims, the disabled worker must still file with the VWCC. When there is no AWARD, there is no requirement that the Insurance company or the employer do anything for the disabled worker or a deceased employee’s grieving family and dependents. That is one reason why, in work accident cases where there is lengthy disability from work, surgery, permanent injury and/or death, experienced legal counsel should be retained immediately. The Insurance Company has lawyers on retainer and present at every Hearing; so should you! Just because you may have received some of wage loss money or gotten some medical bills paid, you should still retain an experienced workers compensation lawyer, like Robert Walsh, to help you. You cannot rely on the insurance company, employer or their agents to protect you. Call 757-622-5000 and speak to Robert Walsh if you have questions about Workers’ Compensation.