Lifetime Medical Benefits in Virginia Workers’ Compensation Cases
Virginia, like many states, limits the number of weeks an injured employee can get lost wage benefits. In Virginia, lost wages are limited to 500 weeks unless the claimant can show he/she suffered an extremely serious disability.
The 500 week limit only applies to the wage part of the claim. The limit does not apply to payment of your medical bills. Medical awards last a lifetime as long as:
- You file your claim in a timely manner.
- Your medical bills relate to a work-related injury or a work-related occupational illness.
- You use one of three doctors that the employer or the employer’s carrier provides. If a three doctor panel is not provided to you, then the claimant can select his/her own doctor.
- You can’t change doctors in mid-stream unless you get the agreement of the employer/employer carrier. Alternatively, you can request a hearing to change physicians; however, this is usually only granted if you can show that your treating physician is no longer providing you appropriate medical care.
- You must follow the doctor’s advice.
- The physician chosen can refer you to other doctors – typically, specialists. The workers’ compensation insurance company cannot force you to go to specialists outside of the ones chosen by your treating physician.
For many claimants, the main long-term expenses are the costs of prescription drugs. Some claimants do require long-term, hands-on medical care. Medical benefits can also include a mileage allowance to help you travel to and from your doctor.
Contact a Norfolk Workers’ Comp Lawyer to Pursue the Benefits You Need
Attorney Joe Miller at Joe Miller Law, has been helping injured workers in Norfolk and throughout Virginia for over a quarter century, and he’ll fight to help you pursue payment for all the lost wages, medical bills, and incidental bills, such as mileage expenses, that you’re allowed. He’s assisted thousands of claimants in workers’ compensation and personal injury cases, and knows what it takes to help you in your situation. To learn more, contact Joe Miller Law, today at (888) 694-1671.