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Basic Elements of a Virginia Workers Compensation Claim

There are many critical questions that an injured worker or an injured workers attorney to decide if the worker has sustained an injury that is covered under the Virginia Workers Compensation Act.  The first question that our attorneys ask is the date of the accident followed immediately by a request for the injured worker to describe how the the accident took place.  The importance of this question cannot be overstated. In Virginia, whether an injury is covered by workers compensation is governed by 65.2 of the Virginia Code and case law that has interpreted the code.  In order to prove that an injury is covered in Virginia, the following must be established by the injured worker:

  1. The injured worker must be able to communicate the date on which the accident occurred.
  2. The injured worker must show that he or she sustained an "injury"
  3. The injury must have "arose out of" the employment 
  4. The injure worker must also show that the injured occurred during the "Course of Employment"

It is important to understand that workers compensation laws vary from state to state.  The laws in Virginia are very different than the laws in Washington D.C. or West Virginia. For example, in many states, the injured worker need only demonstrate that the injury occurred while working. As noted above, in Virginia, the injured worker has a higher burden of proof.  The way in which compensation is calculated is different from state to state and the injured workers responsibility in some cases to demonstrate that he or she has searched for alternative work is an aspect of Virginia Workers Compensation that is distinct from other states.  

There are many other factors that an injured worker must consider as well.  Here are a few important questions: 

  1.  Did the employee report the accident and injury to the employer?  
  2.  Did the employee properly describe the accident to the employer and to his or her physicians? 
  3.  Did the injured worker have a pre-existing condition that was similar to the injury? 
  4. Has the injured worker received medical treatment? 
  5. Does the injured worker have a permanent injury? 

Our attorneys are skilled at evaluating and advising clients on these questions. Do not hesitate to contact our firm to these questions or any other questions that you may have.

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