In the Commonwealth of Virginia, employers are generally required by law to purchase workers’ compensation insurance if they have three or more employees. Workers’ compensation helps workers who are injured or acquire a disease from their jobs. It is the exclusive remedy against employers for employees in Virginia.
In certain circumstances, one may have both a personal injury claim and a workers’ compensation claim. For example: an individual is working and driving a vehicle from one job site to another. As her car comes to a stop at an intersection, it is struck from behind by another vehicle. The worker is injured. In this case, the injured worker has the ability to file for workers’ compensation benefits and make a personal injury claim against the individual who caused the accident.
Under workers’ compensation, if the claim is compensable, the insurance carrier would pay medical benefits and 2/3 of the individuals wages. For the personal injury claim, the injured party would be entitled to an amount to compensate them for their medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and inconvenience. However, if you receive a personal injury award, workers’ compensation is typically entitled to be paid back some of the money it expended on your workers’ compensation claim. It is also important to note that prior to settlement of the personal injury claim, permission must be acquired from the workers’ compensation carrier to insure that the injured worker does not lost any future benefits he or she may be entitled to.
If you have been injured as the result of an act of another, contact an experienced attorney at the law firm of Paulson & Paulson, PLC to protect and understand your rights.