Fauquier County, Virginia, is home to several large employers in the education, banking, manufacturing, and building sectors. Employees at these companies sometimes sustain work-related injuries that require medical care and cause injured workers to lose time from work. When this happens, injured employees are generally eligible to file claims for workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp covers all medical bills and two-thirds of wages lost due to accidental work-related injury or occupational illness.
You don’t have to prove your employer did anything wrong to cause your injury. Even if you’re responsible for your own accident, you may still submit a claim for benefits, and your employer is not permitted to fire you or penalize you in any way for filing. If your injury is minor, your medical bills low, and your time off work short, you might be able to complete the workers’ comp process on your own as long as your employer does not dispute your claim. If, however, your injuries are serious, requiring expensive medical care and significant time off work for recovery, the employer’s insurance company is likely to dispute or deny your claim. When this happens, you need the services of a workers’ compensation attorney to help you pursue fair benefits.
Work-Related Accidental Injuries in Fauquier County
While any type of injury can occur in any type of job, we do see patterns in certain industries. In Warrenton and Fauquier County, these are the typical injuries we see coming out of the following workplaces.
Banking and Office Work
Even if you work in an indoor environment and sit at a desk all day, you can still get hurt on the job. Employees at the Fauquier Bank, Primis Bank, Buccaneer Computer Systems, Fauquier County agencies, and other offices in the area might not perform a great deal of difficult physical work, but they still run the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including neck and spine injuries, from sitting in the same position for long periods of time.
Vision problems can result from staring for hours on end at a computer screen, and bank tellers who handle large amounts of money are at risk of serious injury if a robbery should take place. Any such office work injury entitles you to file a claim for workers’ comp benefits, but a tight-fisted insurer might dispute your claim and allege that you sustained your injuries somewhere else. In such a case, you need the help of a lawyer to prove your injuries are work-related.
Classroom teachers, administrators, maintenance personnel, cafeteria workers, and other employees of the Fauquier County Schools, Covenant Christian Academy, and similar educational institutions in the area frequently suffer accidental injuries on the job:
- MSDs from carrying books, moving desks, and handling heavy equipment
- Slip-and-fall accidents on playgrounds and in hallways
- Car accidents that occur on the way to or from class field trips or sporting events
- COVID-19 and other communicable diseases that can be transmitted by students and co-workers
- Attacks by disturbed, aggressive students or violent parents
- Gunshot injuries if a mass school shooting takes place
While some schools carry Virginia workers’ comp (VWC) insurance, others might be part of a self-insurance pool consisting of several school systems. Whatever the type of coverage your employer provides for work-related injuries, an experienced workers’ comp attorney can help you through the claims process.
General Dynamics, CHEMetrics, Smith-Midland Corporation, and Krautzberger North America are just a few of the manufacturing businesses in Fauquier County. Manufacturing employees perform physically demanding jobs every day. Squatting, bending, pulling, pushing, and lifting large or awkward objects repeatedly can lead to a variety of MSDs.
Equipment malfunctions and accidents involving forklifts and other factory vehicles can cause burns, lacerations, broken bones, and even severed limbs in extreme cases. All such injuries should be compensable by workers’ comp as long as you can prove they’re work-related.
Air Traffic Control
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operates the Potomac Consolidated Terminal RADAR Approach Control (TRACON) facility in Warrenton, VA. Potomac TRACON provides air traffic control (ATC) service for airports and airspace in surrounding cities. Air traffic controllers endure psychological, physiological, social, and work-related stress on the job. They also suffer the effects of rotating shifts, which disrupt the “body clock.” Psychological injuries resulting from high-stress work are compensable under workers’ comp, but they’re harder to prove than physical injuries are. The services of a workers’ comp attorney are highly recommended for injured employees in the ATC sector.
Golden Rule Builders and Easi-Set Worldwide are just two Fauquier County employers working in the construction industry. Building and construction workers have one of the highest rates of work-related accidental injuries:
- Cuts and severed fingers from power tools
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) from blows to the head resulting from falling objects
- Trip-and-fall mishaps
- Colliding with or being hit by trucks, backhoes, or other heavy equipment
- Electrocution from contact with live power lines
Because many construction workers are independent contractors who might not be covered by workers’ comp, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney immediately if you’re hurt on a construction site. If you’re not eligible for VWC benefits, your lawyer can help you seek compensation from other sources for your work-related injury.
If You’re Injured on the Job in Fauquier County
Because your employer’s workers’ comp insurer will look for any technical reason to deny you benefits, it’s important that you not make any mistakes in the claims process.
Reporting and Filing
Although VWC gives you 30 days to report an injury to your supervisor, you should do so in writing as soon as possible after your accidental injury. Your employer should then complete a First Report of Injury (FROI) form and submit it to VWC.
The next step is to submit a Claim for Benefits form from the “Injured Workers” page of the VWC website. You’re actually given two years to file your claim, but waiting is never a good idea. Any delay on your part in reporting or filing gives the insurer ammunition to dispute your claim, so be sure to report and file immediately after your accident.
Get Medical Care
You should be permitted to choose one of three physicians approved by your employer’s insurance company. See one of these doctors for diagnosis and treatment as soon as you can. Do not delay. Follow all treatment plans, keep all appointments, take medications as prescribed, and retain your receipts and other documentation of your treatment. Don’t engage in any activity that might allow the insurer to claim that you’re not really hurt.
Consult a Lawyer
While a simple and inexpensive claim might not require an attorney, you should contact a lawyer for a free first consultation in any of the following situations:
- Your claim is complex.
- Your injuries are severe.
- Your recovery is apt to be a long one.
- The insurer is slow to pay your weekly wage benefits or to approve necessary treatments.
- You’re not satisfied with your medical care.
- Your employer delays, disputes, or denies your claim.
An experienced attorney can guide you through the claims process, make sure that you meet all deadlines, and represent you in a hearing before the VWC or in civil court if your claim is denied.