Frequently Asked Questions

The workers' compensation process in Virginia can be complex. Because our law firm exclusively practices workers' compensation law, we are a top-notch resource for questions you may have along the way. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive, answered.

Every workers' compensation case is unique. We encourage you to walk through the process with a trusted, experienced workers' compensation lawyer. Give the lawyer team at HammondTownsend a call for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

Getting Started

Should I trust what my employer's lawyer & insurance company tell me?

Your employer and the insurance company are looking out for themselves by limiting the time you're out of work and your medical treatment so they don't have to pay. Your employer and the insurance company will have a lawyer... so should you!

How can HammondTownsend help me?

Because the Workers’ Compensation Act in Virginia focuses heavily on the interests of the employer and its insurance company, consulting an attorney that is highly-skilled in Workers’ Compensation law is critical to winning your case. The experienced attorneys at HammondTownsend will guide you through every step of the Workers’ Compensation process.

If I'm injured on the job, what steps should I take and who should I notify?

If you are injured on the job, first report the injury to your supervisor at work. Tell them exactly what happened. Second, visit your doctor, tell them exactly what happened. Third, call HammondTownsend. It all starts with our free consultation, a talk with one of our lawyers, and we will walk you through the process. The earlier you call us, the more prepared you'll be. Read more 

Can I be fired for claiming Workers' Compensation?

The short answer is NO. If you’re hurt at work, you should be filing a workers’ compensation claim so that you can get the money you are due. Sometimes, however, people don’t want to file because they think they will be fired. Firing you for claiming workers’ compensation is illegal in Virginia. Virginia has a law that explicitly says that employers can’t fire employees for filing for workers’ compensation, and if they do, the employee can take them to court. Read More.

Have more questions about starting your Workers' Compensation claim? Read our Getting Started blogs.

What's Covered

Can I claim workers' compensation if I'm injured while driving to work?

Typically, an injury that occurs while driving to work will not be covered as it falls under the "coming and going" rule. However, if you're on the clock and injured while driving, you might be covered.

If I'm injured in the parking lot, is that covered by workers' compensation?

Injuries that occur in work parking lots are usually covered. However, there are some exceptions. The general rule is, once you're on the premises, you're covered.

If an injury occurs in the work parking lot due to inclement weather, it is almost always covered. If you're willingly playing in the snow or on the ice, horseplay is NOT covered! Read more

Is carpal tunnel covered under workers' compensation?

In order to get carpal tunnel covered under workers' compensation in the state of Virginia, you have to prove that the injury is 100% due to what you're doing at work and couldn't possibly be from something you do off the clock.

We are hoping the new law, which should be out July 2021, will help make carpal tunnel cases a lot easier!

Have more questions about what's covered under the Workers' Compensation law? Read our blogs about what's covered.

The Process

How long do I have to report a work-related injury?

When you've been injured at work, you need to tell your employer. Ideally, you should tell your employer immediately, but a minor injury might become a bigger issue days later. Virginia workers' comp law states you have 30 days to report an injury.

How long will my case take?

The timeline of a workers' compensation case can vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances. Eighteen (18) to twenty-four (24) months is not unusual for a workers' comp case. If the case is complicated and goes through many appeals processes it can easily take longer. HammondTownsend will be working in your best interests the entire time.

How often do I need to come in to your office?

As a client of HammondTownsend, you don’t need to come into the office much at all, if ever. Most of the information will be shared over the phone or over email. You may need to come in if the workers' comp insurance denies a claim and needs to take a deposition. Please don’t just stop by without an appointment to speak to your attorney: there are several HammondTownsend offices across Virginia, and the paralegal and lawyer for your case may not be in the office closest to you on the day you stop by.

Do I have to speak in front of a judge?

You may have to speak at an evidentiary hearing. The evidentiary hearing is after a workers’ comp insurance claim has been filed and the worker’s comp insurance company, who works for the employer, has denied the claim. The evidentiary hearing takes place in a private courtroom with just your case in it, so the general public can’t hear any details of your private medical history. You may have to answer questions from your attorney and/or from a deputy commissioner from the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. The deputy commissioner serves the same role as a judge in workers compensation cases.

What do I do with papers that I get in the mail?

Make sure that HammondTownsend has copies of all papers that you get about the case. If HammondTownsend is not listed on the paperwork, or if you are not sure, contact the paralegal assigned to your case. Mileage, job search tracking, and medical paperwork should also be sent to HammondTownsend. The paralegal you’re in contact with will give you instructions for what you should do with different types of paperwork you may receive.

Have more questions about the Workers' Compensation process? Read our blogs about the process.


If I contract COVID-19 at work, can I claim Workers' Compensation?

Per recent laws, signed by the Governor, if you are a healthcare worker or a first responder, you could be eligible to receive Workers' Compensation for contracting COVID-19 at work. Because of your role, this could be considered an Occupational Disease. If you have questions about your eligibility and a possible case, please give us a call. Read more 

Have more questions about COVID-19 and Workers' Compensation? Read our COVID-19 Blogs.

Workers' Comp 101

What is the difference between a positional risk and actual risk policy?

Positional Risk Policy - If you get hurt, and you're at work, then it qualifies as a workers' compensation claim.

Virginia is an "Actual Risk" state. This means that your work CAUSED you to get hurt. How you explain what happened when you were injured is important. Read more

Want to learn more about the Workers' Compensation Law? Read our Workers' Comp 101 blogs.

Benefits & Payouts

Workers' Compensation Benefits have been awarded to me. How will I receive them?

The workers' compensation insurance company will mail you a check with your benefits.

Have more questions about Workers' Compensation benefits & payouts? Read our blogs about benefits & payouts.

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