virginia workers compensation

Virginia Workers’ Compensation Benefits Payments Among Highest in Nation

by | November 9th, 2015

Making ends meet after being injured on the job can be difficult due medical bills and lack of incom. Luckily, employees injured in the commonwealth are often entitled to Virginia workers’ compensation benefits. And  now, at least one new study shows these payments are among the highest in the nation.

The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute examined payments, prices, and utilization of benefits in 17 states. Researchers were able to conclude that while Virginia had higher medical costs for non-hospital providers—roughly 13 percent more than average—the commonwealth also received above-average medical payments. According to the Insurance Journal, when a worker in Virginia was out of work for seven or more days, they receive one-third more in medical payments than the median payment in the other 16 states involved in the study.

At Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, we recognize the vital role Virginia workers’ compensation benefits can play in an injured workers’ recovery—both physically and financially. Our Norfolk personal injury lawyers are glad to see Virginia’s injured workers getting the help they need. We also encourage anyone hurt on the job to consider applying for the benefits that they need.

The Relationship Between Shipyard Employment and Virginia Workers’ Compensation Benefits

by | November 22nd, 2014

All jobs come with certain inherent risks, but jobs in shipyards are some of the most dangerous jobs a person can hold. Those who work in shipyards face an on-the-job injury rate twice that of the construction industry. Although many shipyard and dock workers follow safety procedures and do their best to avoid workplace accidents, the Norfolk personal injury attorneys with Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers say fall hazards are one of the most regularly reported risks at this particular type of job site.

In fact, a Norfolk shipyard is facing tens of thousands of dollars in fines for exposing workers to such risks. An article from WAVY 10 News explains that during an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection conducted in May 2014, investigators found dozens of safety violations. Those infractions included exposing workers to fall risks of greater than 30 feet and failing to have fall prevention equipment in place. Reports show electrical risks were found as well.

The violations have resulted in fines of more than $100,000.

So what should you do if you work in a shipyard and are injured on the job? Filing a Virginia workers’ compensation claim should be your first step, but the steps to complete the process of receiving compensation can be complex. That’s why the team of lawyers with Lowell Stanley are available to help you with your claim. We will not only answer any questions you have regarding your legal situation, but we’ll also advocate on your behalf in court. We’re available to speak with you anytime about your Virginia workers’ compensation claim by calling (757) 549-CASH.

 

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 Addison Durham | 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.

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.

Norfolk Worker Hurt By Falling Bucket of Concrete

by | March 11th, 2013

March 11, 2013

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, contact with objects or equipment on a job site was responsible for roughly 15 percent of all workplace fatalities last year. This type of accident was more recently responsible for leaving a Norfolk, Virginia, construction workers seriously injured.

A story from The Virginian-Pilot stated the incident occurred on Monday, February 11, at around 5:30 p.m., at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Reports indicate the man was performing normal work duties when part of a crane failed. The failure allowed a bucket full of concrete to coming crashing down on the worker’s head, leaving him seriously injured.

The man was rushed to a local trauma center to receive treatment to his injuries and was released the following day. He is expected to make a full recovery with time.

The accident leaves many workers wondering what to do if they are involved in a workplace accident that leaves them injured.

The Norfolk Personal Injury Attorneys at the law office of Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley explain that by law, employers have a responsibility to ensure their workers have a safe and healthy environment in which to do their jobs. Any failure to do so could result in the accident being considered the fault of negligence on the employer’s behalf. Such a finding could be used in an injury victim’s favor when they go to file a Virginia Workers’ Compensation claim in connection to the incident.

Three Norfolk Employees Awarded More Than $1 Million For Injuries

by | March 4th, 2013

March 4, 2013

The railroad company, Norfolk Southern Corp., has been ordered by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to pay more than $1 million to three employees who were wrongfully terminated after suffering work-related injuries.

According to an OSHA press release, a crane operator suffered an eye injury when struck by a piece of metal while working. The company took the worker out of service following the accident and formally fired him a short time later. Norfolk Southern listed the reason for the termination as giving false statements regarding the accident.

Then, the company fired a welder and his assistant after the pair was involved in a car accident. The men were said to be riding in a company truck when another vehicle ran a red light and hit a car. The second vehicle then struck the men’s work truck. The men initially didn’t seek medical treatment, but as their shoulder pains grew, they were taken to a local hospital.

An investigation determined Norfolk Southern had terminated the men’s employment based on their reporting injuries and claimed the men would not have been let go had they not reported the injuries.

The Norfolk Personal Injury Lawyers with the law firm of Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley explain workers have a right to a healthy and safe environment in which to work. When an accident does occur, an employer has a responsibility to cover the expenses through Virginia Workers’ Compensation. Failure to provide either is against the law.

Newport News Roof Worker Electrocuted on the Job

by los | August 9th, 2011

August 9, 2011

A Newport News, Virginia, man was burned on the job on Tuesday, August 9, while working on the roof of a church.

HamptonRoads.com reports that the man suffered an electrical burn around 10 a.m. when he came into contact with an electrical line that powered a rooftop air conditioning unit. The man — an employee of Hampton, Virginia-based Tidewater Roofing Company — was helping to repair the roof of Saint Paul AME Church on 2500 Chestnut Avenue.

The Newport News Fire Department used an aerial tower ladder from one of their trucks to bring the worker safely down to the ground — blocking thru traffic on Chestnut and 26th Street for 30 minutes.

The victim was transported to Riverside Regional Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. His name has not yet been released.

Read more.

Who do you think should be held liable for this on-the-job Virginia accident? Do you think this will become a Virginia workers’ compensation lawsuit?

If you or someone you know thinks they can claim Virginia workers’ compensation, the injury lawyers at Lowell Stanley can help.