Local news station, WVIR in Charlottesville, reached out to HammondTownsend to better understand workers’ compensation in Virginia. Additionally, they questioned how the coronavirus is impacting workers’ compensation law.
Overall, the state of Virginia has become more worker friendly where workers’ compensation is concerned. Good news for individuals who have been injured on the job and are seeking payment of medical bills and loss of wages.
No matter the type of on the job injury, the legal steps you should take remain the same. Always report the injury and incident to your supervisor. Always seek appropriate medical attention and treatment. These two steps will make your claims for workers’ compensation coverage and benefits smoother.
Presently, there is an executive order awaiting Governor Northam’s signature which will help in the protection of medical expenses and loss of wages for front-line medical and first-responder employees who contract the coronavirus. The order hinges on defining the current presumptions for other illnesses, with a direct correlation to contraction by being on the job, to the coronavirus. For example, there is a presumption that if a firefighter develops cancer related to fumes they are exposed to on the job, then the illness is caused by their job as a firefighter. If the executive order is signed, then first responders and healthcare workers who contract the coronavirus could be eligible to claim the payment of medical expenses and workers’ compensation loss wage benefits.
COVID-19 is causing a new landscape for many areas of our life. The legal landscape is no exception. There continue to be more questions than answers as to how the coronavirus will impact workers’ compensation claims and benefits.