Your Work Accident and Injuries are Covered under Workers Compensation in Virginia if You Satisfy the Commission's Four-Part Test


Do I have a good workers compensation case? This is the most common question I get from injured employees in Virginia. And though it’s a simple question, it requires a complicated analysis to answer. Determining who gets Virginia workers compensation benefits often requires litigation and legal research.


Each Virginia workers’ compensation claim is different. A seemingly minor and insignificant fact may be the difference between receiving wage loss benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and medical treatment and struggling financially and physically because your claim is not covered under workers comp.


Always consult a workers compensation attorney before making an important decision about your health and ability to provide for your family.

Who Gets Workers Compensation in Virginia? Understanding the Commission's Test to See if Your Accident and Injuries are Covered.


When an injured employee calls me about their work accident, there are four questions I answer to determine whether they have a valid workman’s compensation claim in Virginia.


  • Was the injured worker an employee or an independent contractor at the time of the accident? The Workers’ Compensation Act covers employees, not independent contractors. You may still be entitled to benefits, even if the employer called you an independent contractor. The Commission looks at every aspect of your employment relationship.


  • Did the injured person suffer an “injury by accident” as defined under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act? Not all injuries, conditions, or accidents are covered. You must prove that a sudden event caused a structural or mechanical change to your body.


  • Did the injury by accident arise out of a risk of the employment? Virginia workers comp laws use an “actual risk” test, not a “positional risk” test. This means that a specific risk of your employment must have caused the injury. It is not enough that you were injured at work. Injuries caused by walking, sitting, standing, squatting, and other normal activities are usually not covered by Virginia workers comp.


  • Did the injury by accident happen in the course of the employment? Generally you must prove that your accident happened while you were on the clock. But there are some exceptions. If your accident happened while you were out of town on business, while you were taking a “personal comfort” break, or while you were clocking in, you may be entitled to work comp benefits.


These questions seem straightforward and easy to answer. But they aren’t in many cases. The answer to whether your accident and injuries are covered under workers compensation in Virginia often depends on the facts of your case.


The Virginia Workers Compensation Commission, the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and the Supreme Court of Virginia have issued thousands of judicial opinions interpreting the Commission’s Rules and the language of the Virginia Workers Compensation Act.


Click on the links above to learn more about each part of the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission’s test to determine whether your accident and injuries are covered. Then call or e-mail us for a free consultation.


An Experienced Workers Comp Attorney for All Types of Workplace Accidents and Injuries


Who gets Virginia workers compensation is sometimes a difficult question to answer. The bottom line is that if you are injured at work, you should always contact a workers compensation attorney to see if you have a claim for benefits. It doesn’t matter what type of work you do or where you work – nursing at a local hospital, clerical work in an office, roofing on a construction site, or lifting at a warehouse – your pain or disease may be the result of an on-the-job injury. Determining the exact cause may be difficult, but this shouldn’t keep you from pursuing your legal rights under workers’ compensation.


You deserve a workers compensation lawyer with the knowledge and experience to help you get what is yours. Call or e-mail us to get a free case review. And act quickly to get Virginia workers’ compensation. If you don’t a Virginia workers compensation statute of limitations may bar your right to benefits.