West Virginia’s workplace injury laws guarantee specific benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Unfortunately, employers or insurers sometimes make it challenging for workers to obtain the benefits they need and deserve. If you’ve been hurt at work, let a work injury lawyer from Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, fight for your rights to compensation for serious injuries.

For over a decade, Jeff Robinette has used his knowledge and experience to maximize financial recovery for injured workers. Our team can review your case, help you understand your rights, and handle the details of your workers’ comp claim so you can focus on healing and getting back on your feet.

If you’ve suffered a work injury or occupational illness, get legal help to claim the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve under the law. Contact our Bridgeport personal injury lawyers for a free initial claim evaluation with our work injury attorney.

Work Injury Statistics in West Virginia

Work injury statistics published by WorkForce West Virginia indicate that, in one recent year, the state had approximately 12,800 recorded work injuries. Of these injuries, about 4,600 cases resulted in days missed from work, while another 2,000 cases resulted in workers transferring to alternative positions or receiving accommodations for medical restrictions. Workforce West Virginia reports that the state public sector had a non-fatal work injury rate of 3.9 per 100 full-time employees. The West Virginia private sector had a non-fatal work injury rate of 2.8 per 100 full-time employees.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, West Virginia had 36 work-related fatalities in one recent year, with 31 deaths occurring among wage/salary employees and five deaths occurring among self-employed workers. Transportation incidents are the most common cause of workplace fatalities at 41.7 percent of deaths. The private transportation and warehousing industry had the highest number of fatalities out of any industry, with nine deaths.

Common Types of Workplace Injuries

Some of the most common accidents and injuries in the workplace include:

  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Electrocution injuries
  • Ligament sprains/tears
  • Muscle or tendon strains/tears
  • Broken bones
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Degenerative joint or disc disease
  • Internal organ injuries or bleeding
  • Hearing/vision loss
  • Facial injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Traumatic amputation or limb loss
  • Chronic disease caused by toxic exposure
  • Viral/bacterial infections

Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim After a Workplace Accident in Bridgeport

Employers and their workers’ compensation insurers sometimes deny valid workers’ comp claims from injured workers in error or to save themselves money. When they do, the worker may pursue a formal work injury claim with the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner. Under state law, a worker has six months after suffering an injury in a workplace accident to file a formal work injury claim. A worker who suffers an occupational illness has the latter of either three years after the last work exposure resulting in an occupational disease or three years after a medical diagnosis of an occupational disease.

Once the Insurance Commissioner receives the claim, the Workers’ Compensation Office of Judges schedules a hearing where the worker can present evidence and argument to contest their employer’s denial. If the judge rules in favor of the worker, the employer must accept their claim and pay them benefits.

Compensation Available After a Workplace Injury in West Virginia

Under West Virginia’s workers’ compensation system, injured workers can recover the following types of work injury compensation:

  • Medical benefits cover the cost of all reasonable medical treatment or rehabilitation for a work injury or occupational illness. They pay for medical bills, doctor’s appointments, hospitalization, nursing care, prescriptions, physical rehabilitation, and travel to/from medical appointments.
  • Temporary disability payments reimburse two-thirds of a worker’s pre-injury/illness average weekly wage when they cannot work. They last for up to 104 weeks.
  • Permanent partial disability benefits provide financial payments to a worker who suffers a permanent partial impairment. They begin once the worker has reached maximum medical improvement – the point at which additional care will not meaningfully improve their condition.
  • Permanent total disability benefits continue partial reimbursement of wages for as long as the worker cannot return to the workforce or until the worker reaches Social Security retirement age.

What To Do After a Workplace Injury

You must take specific steps after a workplace injury or occupational illness to pursue your workers’ compensation benefits. Here’s what you should do:

  • Report your workplace injury to your employer as soon as possible after a workplace accident. The longer you wait to report your injury, the greater the risk to your rights to workers’ compensation benefits. Send written notice to your employer so you have a record proving you told your employer about your injury.
  • Seek prompt medical attention for workplace injuries. Remember to tell your doctor you are seeing them because of an on-the-job injury or ailment.
  • Follow your doctor’s treatment instructions and medical restrictions.
  • Keep any bills, invoices, or receipts of out-of-pocket medical expenses you incur for treatment or rehabilitation.
  • Gather copies of your pay stubs/income statements to calculate your temporary disability benefits if you need to take time off work to recover from your workplace injury.

Finally, contact a work injury attorney from Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, as soon as possible to get help recovering the workers’ comp benefits you deserve.

What if the Claim is Denied?

When you file a workers’ comp claim with the Insurance Commission, the Office of Judges will review your evidence, decide as to your right to benefits, and then mail you its ruling and an explanation of its reasoning. If you disagree with the ruling, you may appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Board of Review, which will review the record evidence and uphold or reverse the Office of Judges’ decision.

Talk to an Experienced Work Injury Lawyer in Bridgeport, WV Today

If you’ve been injured at work, you may have the right to workers’ compensation benefits that pay for your medical treatment and help you make ends meet while you’re out of work or earning less in a reduced-capacity role. Unfortunately, having a right to benefits and getting them are two different matters. That’s why you should contact Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, today for a free, no-obligation consultation to speak with our knowledgeable work-related injury lawyers about pursuing your claim.