West Virginia workers risk injury every day, no matter what type of work they do. In most cases, the West Virginia workers’ compensation system provides benefits after a job-related injury. That can be a critical source of financial help when a workplace accident leaves an employee injured and unable to work.
The trouble is, West Virginia workers’ compensation doesn’t always work like it should. Sometimes legitimate injury claims get denied, and even when workers’ compensation benefits are awarded, workers don’t always receive all the benefits they deserve. That means it’s vital to have an experienced West Virginia Workers’ Compensation attorney on your side after any serious workplace injury.
Contact Our West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
At Underwood Law Offices, we help West Virginia workers get the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. If you or a family member have been injured on the job, or if a family member was killed at work, contact one of our West Virginia workers’ compensation lawyers today.
The proven workers’ compensation attorneys at Underwood Law Offices represent personal injury victims throughout West Virginia from our offices in Huntington. So if you’re in Huntington, Charleston, South Charleston, Parkersburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Clarksburg, Beckley, Martinsburg, or elsewhere in West Virginia, contact us today to get help with your case. Just call 866-523-0499 or use our convenient online form to arrange for a free initial consultation.
West Virginia Workers’ Compensation
The West Virginia workers’ compensation system is best described as an insurance program in which employers either “self-insure” or pay an insurance company for coverage that provides benefits to workers who get hurt or sick because of their job. As in most states, the workers’ compensation program in West Virginia is mandatory, which means most employers have a duty to provide coverage for their employees.
Workers’ compensation is meant to benefit both employees and employers. West Virginia workers are helped because they’re eligible to receive many benefits if they suffer a job-related injury, all on a “no fault” basis. That means benefits are available no matter who was at fault for causing the employee’s injury. Thus coverage is always available, giving injured workers the best chance to heal and recover from their injuries so they can return to earning a living for themselves and their family.
Employers benefit from workers’ compensation, too. In exchange for providing workers’ compensation coverage to employees, employers are shielded from being sued by workers who get hurt on the job.
Who’s Covered By West Virginia Workers’ Compensation?
Under West Virginia law, employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage for all full-time employees. Small businesses are excluded only if they employ less than three part-time workers. Some other exclusions exist, such as for certain agricultural employers, independent contractors, and the like, but as a general rule the vast majority of West Virginia workers are covered by workers’ compensation.
Where Does West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Coverage Come From?
In the past, West Virginia workers’ compensation benefits were paid by the state from the West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Fund, which was administered by the West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. In 2005, however, West Virginia converted its workers’ compensation system to rely on a private insurance company called BrickStreet Mutual Insurance.
BrickStreet remained West Virginia’s only private carrier for workers’ compensation until mid-2008, when other private insurance carriers were allowed to begin covering workers’ compensation claims. When that opportunity arose, a number of other private insurance companies began providing workers’ compensation coverage, too. Recent figures show that over 240 workers’ compensation carriers have filed registration documents with the state’s Insurance Commission.
Employers can obtain workers’ compensation liability coverage through the many private insurance companies now offering policies. Alternatively, employers can “self-insure” and provide their own workers’ compensation coverage, so long as they meet certain minimum financial requirements established by the state.
Injuries Covered Under West Virginia Workers’ Compensation
It’s impossible to list all the injuries covered by workers’ compensation in West Virginia – there are just too many ways that West Virginia workers can get hurt. The crucial factor is that an employee’s injury or sickness happened because of the employee’s work. Common categories of injuries and accidents that happen at the workplace include:
- Falls, often from ladders, scaffolding, roofs and other high places
- Crush injuries from being struck by heavy equipment, smashed between heavy loads, or getting caught on powerful moving equipment and tools
- Burns from fires and explosions
- Burns from exposure to harmful and even toxic chemicals
- Electrocution from coming into contact with high voltage lines or defective electric equipment
- Soft tissue injuries, such as strained or torn muscles, tendons, and ligaments, from lifting or moving heavy objects
- Vehicle accidents
- Assaults or other violent attacks by co-workers and others
What Benefits Does West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Provide?
The West Virginia workers’ compensation system offers several types of benefits to employees:
- Medical benefits for medical care required to treat a work-related injury
- Disability benefits to replace an injured worker’s lost wages because of a job-related illness or accident (with specific benefits for disfigurement, hearing loss, and cumulative trauma):
- Temporary total disability benefits for up to two years
- Permanent total disability benefits until age 70
- Temporary partial disability benefits
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Death Benefits
- Spouse and dependents’ benefits to replace lost wages after a worker’s death
- Burial benefits to help pay for a deceased worker’s funeral costs
- Physical and Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits to help injured workers regain their skills
West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Claims Require Skilled Legal Help
West Virginia workers’ compensation claims can be highly complicated. Getting the maximum benefits available after an on-the-job illness or injury means getting help from a skilled, experienced, and proven workers’ compensation attorney. At Underwood Law Offices, Inc., our West Virginia workers’ compensation lawyers know what it takes to fight for injured workers and their families. We know how to get results for deserving workers trying to navigate West Virginia’s complex workers’ compensation system.
Contact One Of Our Experienced Huntington Workers’ Compensation Attorneys For Help With Your Case
The attorneys at Underwood Law Offices, Inc. are justifiably proud of the firm’s success in representing injured West Virginia employees on their workers’ compensation claims. If you’ve been hurt on the job, or if you’ve lost a family member to a workplace fatality, we’re ready to help.
From Huntington, Charleston, Morgantown, Wheeling, Fairmont, Clarksburg, or anywhere else in West Virginia, contact us today by calling 866-523-0499. Or, simply use our convenient online form. We’ll schedule a a free initial consultation to discuss your case and let you know how we can help you recover the maximum compensation available under West Virginia law for your workers’ compensation claim.