If you have been injured at work, it is natural to be concerned about your financial needs when you are unable to work and have medical bills in addition to your usual living expenses. For over 35 years, workers’ compensation attorney Diane McNamara has focused almost exclusively on helping injured Virginia workers.

The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act was enacted over 100 years ago to provide a legal framework to compensate workers injured on the job. The system can be challenging to navigate, especially when you are in pain and worried about your family and your future. Whether you were injured on a construction site, in a factory, in an office, or any other workplace, Diane McNamara takes care of your legal concerns, so that you can focus on getting better.

Working with an experienced attorney right from the start helps you build the strongest possible claim, ensures that all of your injuries are attended to, and ensures that you get all of the benefits to which you are entitled. Not only does the help of a skilled workers’ compensation attorney improve the monetary value of your claim, it is affordable, as fees are based on recovery of monetary and medical benefits.

Don’t wait until you think there is a problem to retain an attorney to protect yourself and your family. Retain Diane McNamara as your experienced workers’ compensation attorney right away to ensure that your rights are protected from the start, before you have a problem.

Causes and Types of Workplace Injury

Workers’ compensation attorney Diane McNamara represents workers in a wide range of occupations and industries, working for large, medium and small employers. Many workplace injuries involve equipment or circumstances peculiar to the workplace, such as:

  • Forklifts, scissor lifts, pallet jacks and other warehouse equipment
  • Table saws, drills and other power tools
  • Mowers, tractors, chain saws, chippers
  • Bobcats, bulldozers, excavators, trenchers, mixers and other heavy equipment
  • Falls from ladders, scaffolds, walls, down stairs or from any height
  • Lifting heavy weight
  • Work truck accident or work-related motor vehicle crash

Workplace injuries can result in serious, permanently disabling conditions, of which the following list is only a sampling:

  • Back, neck and other spinal injury
  • Paralysis, including paraplegia, quadriplegia, hemiplegia, monoplegia
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), including concussion, brain hemorrhage
  • Neurological injury, including Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
  • Broken bones, internal injuries, serious burns
  • Shoulder injury, including rotator cuff tear
  • Leg, hip and knee injury, including torn meniscus or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear
  • Hand, wrist, and elbow injury, including carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Foot and ankle injury
  • Amputation of digits or limbs
  • Death

Even if your injury is not listed above, if it happened in the course of your employment, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. It is important to have a workers’ compensation attorney advocate for you to prove the nature and extent of your injuries and to hold your employer and its insurer responsible for your wage loss, medical expenses, and permanent damage to your body.

What Does Virginia Workers’ Compensation Provide?

Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to compensate injured workers by providing medical treatment, wage loss, and compensation for permanent loss to your body due to a workplace injury. You cannot get damages for pain and suffering from workers’ compensation. The system is not designed to punish your employer for unsafe work conditions. It is designed to compensate you for your loss.

You may receive compensation for lost wages based on your earnings with your employer over the 52 week period immediately prior to your accident. Wage loss payments can be made when your doctor totally disables you from work, as well as when you are unable to earn as much as you were earning before you were hurt as a result of the work injury. Undocumented workers are eligible to receive wage loss, but only when they are totally disabled from work by the doctor due to the workplace injury.

Virginia workers’ compensation benefits also provide payment for your medical treatment and other expenses caused by your workplace injury, such as:

  • Medical care for your work injury for as long as you need it, including treatment by or at the direction of an authorized treating physician and their referrals, hospitalization, physical therapy, diagnostic testing, imaging, prescription drugs, and prostheses;
  • Mileage reimbursement for travel to and from authorized medical appointments.

Attorney Diane McNamara can help ensure you receive the wage loss and medical treatment you are entitled to while you recover, and that your medical expenses related to your injury are paid by the insurance company. Diane McNamara can spot and prevent insurance disputes before they happen, and address disputes over whether the insurance carrier is responsible for your wage loss and treatment expenses should they arise.

How a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Helps

You may be concerned that you cannot afford an attorney, but the system is designed to make it so you can. The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission determines the amount of the attorney’s fee you pay. There is generally no fee if your claim is unsuccessful. Having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney by your side throughout this process can greatly increase the settlement value of your claim. It will also provide you with the comfort of knowing you have the guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side, so you won’t have to seek advice from the insurance company or your employer, whose interests are adverse to yours.

The injured worker who undertakes to handle their own claim does so at their peril. The insurance company is not going to tell you what your rights are, what the law is, or what you must do to maximize your wage loss benefits or get all of the medical care you may need. The insurance company wants to save money on your claim. Likewise, employers don’t want their insurance premiums to increase, so it is not in your employer’s best interest to help you with your workers’ compensation claim or to advise you.

Most injured workers have never been through the workers’ compensation claim process before. By contrast, insurance companies handle thousands of claims every day, and are at a distinct advantage. Most employers have also been through the process before. Employers can, and do, readily call their workers’ compensation carrier for advice and guidance. Your employer’s human resource team is paid to protect your employer against you in the event you are injured at work.

The insurance company may tell you that you don’t need an attorney to file your claim, but who benefits if you don’t have a lawyer on your side? The insurance company doesn’t want you to get an attorney because they want to pay you as little as possible on your claim. Your attorney is the only person in this process whose role is to look out for your best interests. Getting a lawyer sooner, rather than later, helps you get what you need and deserve from your claim, and can greatly increase the settlement value of your claim.

Don’t wait until you think there is a problem to protect yourself and your family. Retain Diane McNamara as your experienced workers’ compensation attorney right away to ensure that your rights are protected from the start, before you have a problem.

Filing for Workers’ Compensation in Virginia

The process of filing a workers’ compensation claim in Virginia can be complicated and frustrating, and there are time limitations. Since 1989, attorney Diane McNamara has been helping injured workers get the benefits they and their families need. If you have suffered a work-related injury in Virginia, you need to take action right away to protect your rights. Contact Diane McNamara today to schedule a consultation to discuss your work related injury.