Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I injured my brain and I cannot remember how I injured myself in Virginia.

You are at work and you injure yourself. It is a head injury. As a result you cannot remember how you did it. Can you recover workers compensation in Virginia?

At present the answer is probably "NO" and you will lose. Virginia does award the worker a presumption that if you are found dead at your place of work it is "presumed" this occurred as a result of your accident at work. This will benefit your widow and children.

Butt what if you are found unconscious at work and you do not remember the accident. At present unless you can prove the cause of your accident with some other means you will lose.

This is exactly what happened in Herman Blair v. Blair a Construction. Deputy Commissioner  Burchett decided because Herman Blair could not remember his accident even though he was capable of testifying he could not win his case. This decision occurred in April 2012. The case was appealed. While it was appealed labor forces tried to change the law in Virginia to favor compensability. Perhaps due to this effort in the legislature the Blair Case settled on appeal and the three Commissioners who handle Deputy Commissioner appeals never had to rule on this issue.

It remains to be seen if Virginia will extend the "death presumption"

Questions that need to be asked in a Virginia Workers' Compensation Accident

Virginia Workers' Compensation can be complex. These are questions that the injured worker needs to think about.


A Specfic Accident?

Did you injure yourself in a specific accident or was it a gradually occurring problem (such as tendinitis)?


Was there an Accident Report?

Did you report it to a supervisor immediately and was an Accident Report filled out the day of the accident or at least within two to three days after the accident?


Was there medical care that day?

Did you immediately go to a doctor or an emergency room that day or at least the following day?


Cause of Slip and Fall?

 If you slipped and fell at work, do you know what caused the fall such as water on the floor, a slippery carpet, etc.?


Was there a witness?

 Was there a witness who can confirm your accident and is he or she willing to come forward?


Was a Drug or Alcohol Involved?

 Were you under the influence of any drug such as marijuana, cocaine or alcohol at the time of your accident (Many employers will give an injured employee a drug test)?


Work Mission or Errand?

Were you doing a work activity at the time of the accident or were you on a personal mission or errand?



Were you the victim of horseplay by a fellow employee?


Personal Assault?

 Were you the victim of a personal assault by a fellow employee or someone else who was a stranger to the employment?


Ordinary Activity?

Did your injury occur as a result of an ordinary activity such as bending, stooping, reaching, etc.?


Fight with Co-employee or Boss

Did you injury occur as the result of a fight with a co-worker or your boss?


Cause of your fall?

If you fell on a stairs, did you slip as the result of poor lighting, water on the stairs, other substance on the stairs, bad carpet, etc.

In summary, if any of these questions raise issues talk to an experienced workers' compensation lawyer.