Understanding Workers' Compensation Law in West Virginia
Being hurt on the job is stressful. You not only have to deal with the injury or illness itself, but will also likely be worried about how your bills will be paid. Workers' compensation in West Virginia is available to those who qualify to help ease this stress, but sometimes, not all situations are treated equally.
Who Is Eligible?
First and foremost, you must be an employee of the company where you were injured to file a workers' compensation claim. Subcontractors, freelancers, and others who do not have an employment contract may not file for benefits. Secondly, you must be injured or become ill as a result of your employment. However, there are exceptions, and no one knows how to identify them better than Pat Jacobs. If you wish to speak to a West Virginia workers' compensation lawyer at no cost unless the case is won, sit down with Pat for a free consultation. Pat can help you to determine how to handle your situation. For example, if you were intoxicated while working, you probably won’t be eligible to receive benefits, but if you were injured in a slip-and-fall and are unable to pay your utility bills as a result of being out of work, Pat can guide you to the next step.
Does the Injury Have to Occur at the Workplace?
Injured workers often assume they do not have a claim because they weren’t at their place of employment when the injury or illness occurred. However, if the injury occurs when you are engaging in a task for your employer, it may be covered. For instance, if you run an errand for the business and are in a car crash while you are out, you may receive benefits; if you develop a disease due to harmful chemicals in your workplace, but do not become ill until later, you may also be awarded benefits. However, you must remember that if you deviated from your original task to take care of personal business during this time, you might not receive such compensation.
When Are Benefits Discontinued?
You may assume that going back to work part-time or in a different capacity at a lower wage means the benefits will stop, but that is not necessarily true. You can continue to receive benefits in the event of lost wages that were directly attributed to the injury sustained while on the job. However, the benefits may decrease to account if you begin work again since you will be earning a wage, but funds will still be received to your account for the difference. In comparison, if you move into another position that pays the same as or more than what you were earning prior to the injury, the benefits will then be discontinued.
If you have been injured as a direct result of your employment, don’t hesitate tocall Pat. The law is designed to protect workers and ensure that employers maintain safe work environments. Failure to do so should not leave an employee without the funds needed to adhere to the same standard of living during his or her recovery. Pat will work to make certain this is the case in the event of your employer failing to fulfill his or her duty in this area, and will fight to get you the money that you deserve.