Benefits of the Dispute Process in the state of Virginia
In the state of Virginia, the workers' compensation dispute process is very important since it provides the injured workers a platform to file their complaints about compensation from employers if they are injured in the line of duty. The state of Virginia has acts and policies that facilitate the dispute process to ensure the injured worker reports the injury to the employer immediately and file the claims within two years (Kilgour et al., 2015). Virginia workers compensation commission (VWCC) overseas all the dispute process and compensation procedure for injured workers and work-related diseases that may adversely impact the worker due to lack of consistent flow of income (Schofield et al., 2017). The dispute process is needed to settle the compensation claims between the employers and injured workers since some employers may content their workers' compensation claims since in most cases the litigations are expensive, costly and time-consuming. On the other hand, injured workers may dispute the level of benefits or compensation, therefore, necessitating the dispute process.
The major benefits of the dispute process in the state of Virginia by the Virginia workers compensation commission are to provide a legal platform where injured workers and employers can settle their disputes concerning the level of the compensation plan. According to Elbers et al. (2017), the author argues that the dispute process is important in facilitating the compensation of injured worker during work hours. The common causes of injured workers disputing the level of benefits or compensation are when they feel the employers are not compensating enough for the sustained injuries or when the employers refute the injured worker's compensation claims. In addition, the dispute process protects employers from malicious employees who may want to benefit from faking injuries and pretending to be sick to get compensation or time off (Elbers, 2017).
To prevent faking injuries the VWCC ensures the dispute process is handled with care and limiting employee’s compensation amount recoverable from their employers. If a defective product, toxic substance, injured the worker or if the injury was caused by the employer’s intentional conduct, the injured workers may seek to dispute the level of benefits by hiring a compensation attorney (Schofield et al., 2017). However, on the other hand, employers deny or dispute injured workers compensation claims when there are no eyewitnesses if the injury is not too serious to warrant time off or medical attention, if the accident occurred after working hours and if injury not filed in time.
The injured worker’s rights and responsibilities when dealing with disputes is to involve the Virginia workers compensation commission and file the claim in time to receive benefits. First, workers are not entitled to receive compensation when they predispose themselves in harm such as not wearing masks, not wearing proper working gears such as overall, boots, intoxication, crime or purposeful violation of company’s code of conduct (Shraim et al., 2015). The rights and responsibilities of the workers must be followed during the dispute process to authenticate the injury and compensation plan. Another responsibility of the injured workers is to report and file the claims within two years with the Virginia workers compensation commission (Moore et al., 2018). Under the Virginia laws, the injured workers have the responsibility of submitting the medical records to VWCC when inquired and observe the medical treatment services offered by the state. The employee should issue a written notice to the employer about the work-related injury or disease before proceeding to file the claim with VWCC. The injured worker has the rights to appoint an attorney to represent them in the dispute to get the best compensation plan based on the level of injuries sustained during working hours.
The dispute process in Virginia State helps in bringing harmony and order in the compensation process to ensure injured employees do not sue their co-workers or employers leading to huge and ugly lawsuits. The dispute process by either the injured worker or employer is to verify the legitimacy of the injuries and avoid any false done by either the two parties involved (Kilgour et al., 2015). The injured workers have the rights to be compensated and covered for their injuries by the employer without incurring any credence to their negligence or that of their bosses (Shraim et al., 2015). Moreover, VWCC dispute process protects employers from unscrupulous bosses who may refuse or refuse to compensate the injured workers or make the process complicated by delaying paperwork and disputing the nature of the accident citing that it is not serious enough to warrant any compensations.
The root causes of disputes are mainly low compensation rates and lack of belief and trust between the employers and injured workers. On the part of the employers, the dispute process emerges when the employer does not believe that the employee is telling the truth or knowing if the employee is faking the injury or disease just to be compensated. This leads in the employers filing a dispute to refute the compensation and wants investigation conducted to verify the nature of the injury, time of the injury and seriousness of the injury (Kilgour et al., 2015). On the other hand, compensation dispute by the injured workers results from circumstances where the level of benefits or compensation because of the injury is low, inadequate compensation, in cases that involve accidents that leads to permanent disabilities or death. In most cases, it is impossible to monetize the value of human life and disputes and disagreement arises as to the appropriate compensation for the sustained injuries or death of the employee.
Another root course of compensation disputes in the state of Virginia is the negligence on the parts of employees and their bosses. In addition, compensation dispute arises because of the accident circumstances and the authenticity of the injuries and not miscommunication or lack of communication between the employees and employers. Dispute process fit into the claims management process since it involves filling of appeals for claims (Fraisse et al., 2015). The deserving injured workers are compensated immediately while the undeserving employees undergo dispute process to make their claim to receive compensation.
In conclusion, workers compensation in the state of Virginia is regulated by VWCC to oversee the dispute process. The benefits of the dispute process are to ensure there is no false representation on the parts of the injured workers or employers to receive compensation unfairly. The dispute process allows both parties to file suits contesting workers compensation and it is crucial since it protects both parties involved in the dispute. The root causes of disputes are negligence of both parties and communication issues. Management process is merely a subset of the dispute process and it smoothens the process for fair workers compensation.
Elbers, N. A., Chase, R., Craig, A., Guy, L., Harris, I. A., Middleton, J. W. & Lockwood, K. (2017). Health care professionals’ attitudes towards evidence-based medicine in the workers’ compensation setting: a cohort study. BMC medical informatics and decision making, 17(1), 64.
Fraisse, H., Kramarz, F., & Prost, C. (2015). Labor disputes and job flows. ILR Review, 68(5), 1043-1077.
Kilgour, E., Kosny, A., Akkermans, A., & Collie, A. (2015). Procedural justice and the use of independent medical evaluations in workers’ compensation. Psychological injury and law, 8(2), 153-168.
Moore, L. L., Wurzelbacher, S. J., & Shockey, T. M. (2018). Workers' compensation insurer risk control systems: opportunities for public health collaborations. Journal of safety research, 66, 141-150.
Schofield, K. E., Alexander, B. H., Gerberich, S. G., & MacLehose, R. F. (2017). Workers' compensation loss prevention representative contact and risk of lost-time injury in construction policyholders. Journal of safety research, 62, 101-105
Shraim, M., Cifuentes, M., Willetts, J. L., Marucci-Wellman, H. R., & Pransky, G. (2015). Length of disability and medical costs in low back pain: do state workers’ compensation policies make a difference? Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 57(12), 1275-1283.
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