Workers’ Compensation

Determining Who Qualifies for Virginia Workers’ Compensation Benefits

by | September 15th, 2014

When an employee is injured while working in our state, they’re often entitled to Virginia workers’ compensation benefits to cover expenses related to the accident—such as medical bills and lost wages. In order for a claim to be approved though, the accident must have been directly related to the employee’s duties.

Take the Norfolk workers’ compensation benefits claim that was filed on behalf of a police department trainee who was killed during training on December 9, 2010. According to Courthouse News Service, the widow of the victim contends repeat traumatic blows to the head were what caused her husband’s bilateral subdural hematomas.

Documents show that, while in training, the victim was involved in a head-to-head collision with another trainee and suffered repeated blows to the face from another officer’s fists prior to collapsing into a coma.

A court found the victims injuries occurred in the proximity of his job duties and were therefore covered under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act.

The case highlights the intricacies that can come into play when determining if a worker is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits after an accident and leaves many citizens wondering what they can do to protect their rights to benefits in the event of an accident.

According to the Norfolk personal injury attorneys with Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, hiring a lawyer can significantly benefit an injured worker. Doing so can help answer any questions that may arise, as well as determine what documentation will be necessary for your claim.

Increases to Virginia Workers’ Compensation Premiums Being Considered

by | September 8th, 2014

Most companies in Virginia are required to carry an insurance policy that covers expenses related to on-the-job accidents that injure or kill a worker; however, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has proposed raising the premiums that are associated with Virginia workers’ compensation coverage for certain industries.

An article from Insurance & Financial Advisor explains the proposal calls for a decrease in premiums for businesses that fall under the industrial classification. The same goes for those that fall under the voluntary market.

On the other hand, coal mining operations could see an increase in workers’ compensation coverage.

This has many workers concerned, considering the mining and extraction industry has one of the highest worker injury rates in the nation, and an increase in workers’ compensation coverage could prompt some companies to find ways to skirt the requirement to carry insurance.

This behavior is prevalent in the construction industry, where companies classify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying for insurance coverage.

A hearing on the subject of the increase is scheduled to take place October 21 at 10 A.M. at the Tyler Building in downtown Richmond, Virginia.

The Norfolk personal injury attorneys with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley are aware of the impact workers’ compensation benefits can have on accident victims who are injured and unable to work. That’s why we urge anyone who has been hurt while working to speak with our legal team to help ensure your potential rights to compensation are protected under the law.

Penalties Increased for Failing to Carry Virginia Workers’ Compensation Coverage

by | August 4th, 2014

State law requires most employers in the Commonwealth of Virginia to carry an insurance policy that will cover expenses in the event an accident occurs that leaves a worker injured. Unfortunately, many employers attempt to avoid the costs of carrying Virginia workers’ compensation coverage by misclassifying employees on their payroll.

The state is working to address this issue though. In fact, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission just announced it would be increasing the penalties for any company that is caught committing infractions of employment fraud.

A press release from the agency states uninsured employers will face a civil penalty of as much as $250 per day—with a maximum of $50,000— for non-compliance. The new regulations apply to any company or person who hires two or more part- or full-time employees. Those who use subcontractors must also count those individuals as their employees as well.

The hope is that new regulations and better investigations will deter companies from attempting to list employees as “independent contractors” in order to save money. The agency says they will be closely observing how control is exerted over a worker’s manner and means of completing their tasks in order to make a determination as to how an employee should be classified.

At Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, our Norfolk personal injury attorneys have seen the effects a lack of benefits and resources can have on injured workers, which is why we are hopeful the reforms being made in Virginia will help provide Virginia workers’ compensation coverage to more workers.

2 Recent Changes to Virginia Workers’ Compensation Law

by actuate | July 22nd, 2014

Employers in the commonwealth of Virginia have a responsibility—by law—to protect the health and safety of workers they hire. Failure to do so has resulted in costly penalties and the potential of facing civil litigation in the past, but now the laws have been changed to make the punishment for not providing Virginia workers’ compensation coverage even greater.

Under previous Virginia state law, an employer not carrying a workers’ compensation insurance package to cover the costs associated with a workplace accident could result in a fine of anywhere between $500 and $5,000. According to an article from The News Virginian, the penalties were raised on July 1 to anywhere between $250 per day, per noncompliance, or a total of up to $50,000 in penalties plus collection costs.

These are the first changes to the penalties for failing to carry workers’ compensation coverage in about 20-years and were made in an effort to curb the number of employers who found it cheaper to face penalties in the event of an accident than to carry insurance.

Other changes to Virginia workers’ compensation law that went into effect this month include stiffer penalties for employers who misclassify employees in order to avoid coverage or reduce rates.

The key to these reforms being effective will be holding companies responsible. That means employees who are hurt on the job should report the incident to the proper authorities immediately. The Norfolk personal injury lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley also encourage accident victims to discuss their potential rights to compensation with an attorney prior to settling with a workers’ compensation insurer.

Changes Coming to Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation Laws

by | May 19th, 2014

In Virginia, most employers are required by law to carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy that will cover the expenses related to an employee’s injury or death stemming from an on-the-job accident. Unfortunately though, many employers choose not to abide by these rules, leaving many workers struggling for compensation in the event of an accident.

To address this problem, the state has stiffened the penalties against companies that fail to comply with Virginia workers’ compensation laws. The new, stricter standards are set to go into effect later this summer.

According to an article from Tire Business, employers who fail to supply workers and subcontractors with workers’ compensation insurance will now face a fine of $250 per day they are not in compliance beginning July 1. The fines will continue to grow until they accumulate up to $50,000. Under the current laws, employers who do not carry the required insurance policy are only subject to a fine of up to $5,000.

The new laws also clearly define the roles that are classified as employees to prevent companies from using a title to exempt a worker from benefit coverage.

Norfolk personal injury lawyer Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley understands how confusing the state’s workers’ compensation laws and processes can be and encourages anyone with questions about filing such a claim to speak with a qualified attorney immediately.

Work Accidents, Their Causes, and Holding the Right Parties Accountable

by | May 13th, 2014

There’s an endless list of on-the-job hazards workers face that can result in accidents that cause injuries and can leave victims in need of Virginia workers’ compensation benefits to cover their expenses; however, two of the most common accident causes include:

  • Contact with objects and equipment
  • Slips, trips, and falls

An incident that occurred on a construction site last week in Virginia Beach has left two workers injured and highlights just how common these types of accidents are. According to an article from ABC 13 News, the incident happened Monday, May 5, at Town Center on Columbus Street when a steel beam fell. The falling piece of metal struck one worker who was on the ground and forced another to be thrown from the basket of a cherry picker. Both men were injured and transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Accidents like this leave many workers wondering what they should do if they are hurt while working. The Norfolk personal injury lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley explain there are three steps that should be taken in this situation:

  • Get medical attention– If you’ve been hurt on-the-job, your health should be a top priority.
  • Document the accident– Gathering documentation of the accident can later be crucial evidence if a dispute arises as the result of an injury claim.
  • Hammer the responsible parties– It’s important to hold those who cause accidents and injuries liable for their actions to not only help victims with the compensation they need, but to also ensure similar incidents don’t happen again in the future to others.

3 Steps to a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Benefits Claim

by | April 21st, 2014

Employers in the state of Virginia have a responsibility to protect the health and well-being of their employees; however, accidents can still sometimes occur that can leave workers seriously injured. The medical bills associated with such incidents can grow out of control, especially if the injury leaves an individual unable to work. The stresses that can accompany life after an accident can be immense, but there is help available to these individuals through Virginia workers’ compensation benefits.

Most businesses and employers in the state are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance that covers the expenses associated with on-the-job injuries. But the process for filing a workers’ compensation claim can be confusing. Norfolk injury attorney Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley explains the steps for getting workers’ compensation in Virginia include:

  • Filing a Claim- The injured worker or their legal representative must notify their employer of their injury within 30 days, and must file a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission within two years of the accident occurring.
  • Processing- The employer’s insurance company will examine the claim, then either offer a settlement or deny the claim based on their findings.
  • Appeal- If the settlement is not sufficient or the claim is denied, the individual has a right to seek to have the decision overturned through the court system.

Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley and his team of attorneys recognize how complex and confusing these processes can be, which is why they suggest speaking with a reputable lawyer if you have been hurt on the job.

Worker Seriously Injured in Manufacturing Warehouse Accident

by | March 10th, 2014

March 10, 2014

There are countless hazards that workers in the manufacturing industry face each day they show up for work, but one of the greatest dangers is the risk of coming into contact with objects or equipment on a job site. In fact, the Norfolk Workers’ Compensation Lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley explain the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that in 2012, these incidents accounted for roughly 15 percent of all workplace fatalities.

More recently, a worker at a James City County, Virginia, manufacturing warehouse was left seriously injured as a result of an accident involving contact with a forklift at the facility. According to an article from WAVY 10 News, the incident occurred at approximately 11:15 a.m. this morning at the Nicewood Enterprises, Inc., facility located on Westmont Drive.

Reports indicate the 30-year-old victim was performing his job duties when he fell off the piece of machinery. His hand became caught in the machine, crushing his fingers.

The incident leaves many workers wondering what they can do to stay safe while on the job. The Norfolk Personal Injury Lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley explain there are several steps that can be taken, which include:

  • Always obey safety rules and regulations
  • Wear proper safety equipment
  • Report any problems or defects that could cause an accident
  • Speak with a qualified attorney if an accident does occur while working

 

Norfolk Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Discuss Dangers of Transportation Accidents

by | December 21st, 2013

December 20, 2013

There are numerous ways an individual can be injured while on the job, but the Norfolk Workers Compensation Lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley explain one of the most common types of work-related incidents to result in injury or death are transportation accidents. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates transportation accidents were responsible for more than 40 percent of all workplace fatalities that occurred last year.

Such a crash was responsible for claiming the life of a 56-year-old truck driver in Virginia Beach, Virginia, earlier this week. According to a story released by WVEC 13 News, the incident happened at approximately 2 p.m. Tuesday, December 17, along Virginia Beach Boulevard.

Reports indicate two trucks, a box truck and a soda delivery truck, were heading westbound along the road. Somehow, the trucks came into contact, pushing the box truck off the road and into a power pole. The impact of the collision claimed the life of the 56-year-old driver of that vehicle.

Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the accident, if it could have been prevented, and if either driver should face charges in connection to the incident.

Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley and his team of Norfolk Personal Injury Lawyers are aware of the serious dangers transportation accidents pose to employees in the industry and would like to send their condolences to the family of the man who was killed earlier this week.

Norfolk Worker Killed and Another Injured by Falling Objects at Stanton County Feedlot

by actuate | November 1st, 2013

October 28, 2013

Each year, thousands of workers suffer on-the-job injuries that leave them unable to work and in need of an insurance claim for benefits to cover expenses, such as lost wages and medical bills. One of the most common causes of such accidents is a employee coming into contact with objects or equipment on the jobsite. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that last year alone, such accidents where workers are struck by objects or equipment were responsible for approximately 15 percent of all workplace fatalities.

The Virginia Workers Compensation Lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley explain a worker was fatally injured at a feedlot in Stanton County, Virginia, last week as the result of such an accident. Reports indicate the incident occurred at approximately 3 p.m. Monday, October 21, at the facility located just east of the city of Norfolk, Virginia.

According to an article from the Norfolk Daily News, the 53-year-old victim was performing his job duties when grains were suddenly released from a silo above and came avalanching down on top of him. The victim was buried and died as a result of injuries sustained in the incident. Another 60-year-old worker was seriously injured as a result of the accident.

Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley’s Norfolk Personal Injury Lawyers recognize how difficult recovering from a work-related injury can be, both physically and financially. That is why the firm suggests discussing your case with an attorney if you’ve been injured in an on-the-job accident.