The majority of the injured workers I have met tell me that they have been communicating with "workers' comp" about their injuries and their benefits. When I ask them if they have filed a claim with the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission, they are usually confused. When a worker is injured and reports the injury to his employer, he or she is then contacted by an adjuster from his or her employer's workers' compensation insurance.
This adjuster then explains what the company believes to be the injured workers' right to benefits, pay and medical care. At this point, many injured workers believe that they have done what they need to do to protect their rights and that they will receive the benefits they are entitled to receive. The problem with this scenario is that the insurance company is paying the injured worker benefits on a voluntary basis and can stop paying at any time.
The only way for an injured worker to ensure that he or she receives all available benefits is by filing a claim with the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission. The Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission will rule on the case or enter a legally binding award that requires the insurance company to pay all available benefits. A claim must be filed with the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission in order to protect the injured workers' rights.