Compensable Consequence & Workers Compensation Claims in Virginia


The Virginia Workers Compensation Act recognizes compensable consequences. Today we’ll discuss what a “compensable consequence” is and how it can impact your workers compensation claim in Virginia.


What is a Compensable Consequence Injury in Virginia?


Work place injuries are usually the start of a chain of events; they are not isolated incidents. Depending on the type of work accident, many people may be seriously hurt or killed.


Sometimes injuries suffered in the initial work accident can result in additional injuries and physical conditions in the future. This is known as a compensable consequence. A compensable consequence is a subsequent injury that is the direct consequence of your original industrial injury. The subsequent injury is treated as part of your initial workers’ comp claim. It is not treated as a new injury by accident.


Put simply, a work accident can cause a domino effect. An injury to one part of the body can cause injury to another. In Virginia employees who have suffered accidents and injuries because of previous injuries are entitled to the same work comp benefits and medical coverage that was awarded in the original accident.


If you have been hurt in a workplace accident and are suffering additional injuries because of that accident, contact attorney Corey Pollard for a free consultation. We’ve helped hundreds of injured employees obtain the workers comp benefits and Social Security disability benefits they deserve. We can help you get every penny and medical treatment you deserve – both for the initial injuries and all compensable consequences.


Don’t let your employer, its insurance company, or defense counsel bully you. They’ll do whatever they can to prevent you from receiving benefits for your compensable consequence. We won’t let that happen to you. Call 804-251-1620 or 757-810-5614, or go to our contact page.


Examples of Situations Leading to Compensable Consequence Claims in Virginia


Here are illustrations of injuries that may be covered under the compensable consequence doctrine in Virginia workers comp:


  • An employee injures his right leg in a slip and fall, requiring surgery. While using crutches after the operation, the employee begins having problems with the left leg because he is overcompensating. An MRI reveals a left knee meniscus tear. The left knee meniscus tear may be covered as a compensable consequence.


  • An employee injures her left leg when a patient dives into her. While working light duty using crutches, the employee slips and falls, injuring her back. The back injury may be considered a compensable consequence.


  • An employee is prescribed medication for a compensable back injury. The medication causes internal injuries to his kidneys. The kidney injuries may be covered as compensable consequences.


  • An employee underwent surgery for a torn rotator cuff. The doctor breaches the standard of care while performing the operation, causing additional disability. The employee is entitled to additional benefits though medical malpractice worsened his condition.


Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission Cases Addressing Compensable Consequence Claims


Here are examples of Virginia Workers Compensation Commission decisions addressing compensable consequence claims:


  • Palmer v. City of Roanoke Emergency Services, 70 O.I.C. 147 (1991): The employer is responsible for psychiatric treatment when a compensable industrial accident worsens and aggravates a pre-existing mental health condition. We have experience obtaining work comp benefits for mental health conditions worsened by physical injuries.


  • Mason v. Crown Cork & Seal Co., VWC File No. 201-25-94 (2004): The employer is responsible for payment of medical treatment related to back pain when the claimant’s pre-existing back condition was aggravated by the left knee injury. The left knee injury altered the claimant’s gait and required the use of crutches, which aggravated his back.


  • Jones v. Checkered Flag Toyota, VWC File No. 220-84-93 (2007): Injuries in a motor vehicle accident while going to a doctor’s appointment for the compensable industrial accident are covered as compensable consequence injuries. The Commission has awarded benefits where injuries are suffered traveling to and from medical appointments in many cases.


  • Fleming v. Capital City Constr. Group, 47 O.I.C. 120 (1965): When a claimant falls at home because of symptoms associated with a head and brain injury, the resulting fracture is covered as a compensable consequence.


These are just a few examples. If you think you have a compensable consequence claim, call Corey Pollard today. We’ll evaluate your legal rights. But you must act quickly. You have two years from the date you were last paid wage loss benefits to file a claim for compensable consequence. In some cases the statute of limitations may be extended.