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Workers' compensation: requirements of West Virginia employers


Workers in West Virginia are aware that some occupations are inherently dangerous, but whether or not there are known risks and dangers in the work environment, employers should always take action to improve safety in the workplace. When a workplace accident does occur, employers should also take steps to avoid similar occurrences from happening in the future. Moreover, employers have a duty to report these incidents to the appropriate state and federal organizations.

When a worker is injured on the job, the injured worker will often seek workers' compensation to cover the losses and damages caused by the workplace accident. This benefit could help the injured worker cover expenses such as medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages and other related damages. Regardless of whether an employee utilizes this benefit afforded to them, employers are required to take action after a workplace accident.

According to West Virginia law, Section 23-4-1b focuses on the duty of reporting injuries by employers. The regulation indicates that it is the duty of the employer to report every injury sustained by any person employed by them. The report must be on the forms prescribed by the commission or insurance commissioner and must be made within five days of the employer's notice of injury.

The statement on the report should include the employer's opinion of compensability of the worker's injury, and if this statement needs supplement or the employer needs time to detail their opinion or report, they could seek extension of the five day required filing. Whether the employer disputes the compensability of an injury suffered in the workplace or not, a worker is still able to apply for the benefit. The details of the report will be utilized in the investigation of and determination of the payment of workers' compensation.

When a worker in injured on the job, it is often crucial that they recover so they can return to work to avoid any additional damages, such as lost wages. Obtaining workers' compensation is often relied on when a worker is injure on-the-job, and the ability to receive this benefit is reliant on employers taken the proper steps following an accident. Those disputing a denial of workers' compensation should understand what is required of their employer so they can take appropriate action to appeal this decision.

Source: Workerscompensation.com, "ยง23-4-1b. Report of injuries by employers," accessed on Nov. 11, 2014

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