These are commonly used workers’ compensation definitions for Virginia. The explanations are not legal advice. They’re just meant to give you some idea of the legal terminology.
Date of Injury: This is the day when you had your accident or the date your exposure or diagnosis of an occupational illness began. You must file accident related injury claims within two (2) years of this date. For occupational illnesses, you must file within the earliest of two (2) years of this date or five (5) years from the day you were last exposed to the work condition causing the disease, whichever is sooner. Some diseases may have different start dates. Consult with an experienced lawyer before you start.
Death Benefits: These are sums that are paid to a spouse who survives the death, children under 18 who survive the death and children under 23 who are attending an accredited educational institution at the time of the death. Parents in destitute circumstances and others may also qualify. The Benefits include wage loss benefits, funeral and burial expenses up to $10,000 and transport expenses up to $1,000.
Defendant: This term applies to the party being asked to pay the benefits. Typically, it means the employer, the claim administrator or the insurance carrier.
Defense Counsel (PD): This is the lawyer who represents the defendant.
Denied Claim: This is when a Claims Administrator, Insurance Carrier or Employer denies that an injured worker is entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. The grounds are typically because the worker wasn’t an employee, the accident wasn’t work related or the claim isn’t covered by the Workers Compensation Act. Injured workers can appeal the denial by requesting a hearing in writing or seeking the help of legal counsel.
Deputy Commissioner: These people are employed by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. They hold evidentiary hearings, make decisions regarding the rights to benefits and can approve or disapprove of a settlement. Their decisions can be appealed to the Full Commission.
Discovery: This process allows the parties to dispute to get the facts for the case in a formal manner. Discovery includes written questions (interrogatories), oral and written depositions, requests to produce documents, requests for admissions, the right to inspect premises and other fact finding tools approved by the Commission.
If you’ve been hurt at work, you are entitled to 2/3 of your average weekly wages in most cases. You have the right to get your medical bills paid and to return to work only when you’re really able to work. In some cases, you may be entitled to added benefits such as vocational retraining. Norfolk workers’ compensation lawyer Joe Miller at Joe Miller Law, Ltd., has the experience and skill you need to get a just recovery. Contact him today at (888) 694-1671 to learn more.