On November 1, 2009, a 6% decrease in loss cost for workers’ compensation insurance took effect in West Virginia. This means that insurers now have lower caps on the amount of medical and indemnity payments they can distribute for workers’ comp claims throughout the state. Insurance Commissioner Jane L. Cline approved the decrease back in August 2009 in response to market stabilization reported by workers’ comp insurers. The measure was supposed to bring down employer premiums across the state, but early indicators suggest that the decrease may be negatively affecting workers’ compensation claims throughout the state.
According to an article published in the Charleston Gazette on November 18, 2009, more and more injured workers are failing to get the needed treatment they need under the new state rules that privatized the system in 2005. Additionally, the recent decrease in loss cost caps is putting an even tighter squeeze on many employers to deny claims when they can.
If you’ve been denied workers’ compensation benefits, you may not be able to sue your employer, but you can seek damages from third-party manufacturers who display negligence that contributed in some way to your injury. For instance, if you are hurt by a moving part on a machine that you use to complete your daily tasks at work, defective equipment may be to blame and you can sue the manufacturer.
A workers’ comp lawyer in West Virginia can help you recover damages for your medical bills as well as pain and suffering for your injuries on the job. If you are permanently disabled as a result, you may be able to receive additional benefits as a result of the loss of head of household for your family. To learn more, contact an attorney to discuss your case.