Losing a limb is a devastating injury that can affect your ability to make a living long after a workplace accident. Employees in Virginia Beach who sustained an amputation injury because of a work-related accident are eligible for workers’ compensation. An experienced Virginia Beach work injury lawyer can help them receive the maximum benefits they deserve.
How Workplace Accidents Can Lead to Amputation
On-the-job amputations are quite common and can result from different activities. But such injuries usually happen when employees operate unguarded or inadequately guarded machinery. This includes equipment such as meat grinders, power presses, band saws, food slicers, trash compactors, and others. Also, amputation injuries can occur because of accidents that involve automobiles, forklifts, and trucks. They are common in industries like manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, and construction.
Workers’ Compensation for Amputation
Workers’ compensation in Virginia Beach covers the medical bills and lost wages of injured workers. Medical expenses can include medication, surgery, physical therapy, prosthetics, and pain management. If an amputated worker requires a new prosthetic device every few years, they must hire an attorney to show the reasonability of the cost their insurance company must cover.
On the other hand, benefits for lost income compensate for the injured employee’s work losses because of their inability to work as a result of their disability. The employee gets 2/3 of their average weekly wage before the injury for a certain duration according to the part of their body they lost. If they suffer from a permanent total disability that prevents them from getting any kind of work, they may get lifetime benefits.
Steps to Take When Seeking Workers’ Comp Benefits for Work-related Amputation
First, the injured worker must notify their employer within thirty days of their accident. Then, they should file a workers’ comp claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. They have to do this within two years from the date of their injury. Not filing on time can ruin their claim. Also, the employer must file an injury report to the Commission. They should respond to the claim within twenty days of the filing.
Should the Commission approve the claim, the injured worker will get an Award Agreement that must be signed by both parties. For the signed agreement to become an official Award Order, the worker must file it again with the Commission. If the claim is denied, the employee must attend a hearing where they should assert their case with supporting evidence. It is in their best interest to have an attorney advocating for them.