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Glossary of Terms in Virginia Workers’ Compensation Cases

Terms starting with A

These are commonly used workers’ compensation terms for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The terms are provided by the state worker’s compensation website. They are not legal advice. They’re general and meant to help you understand the terminology.

Alternative Dispute Resolution: Alternative means alternative to a full scale hearing. It’s a way to resolve disputes in a friendlier manner. The most common way to resolve matters through alternative dispute resolution is through a process called mediation. The process is voluntary and confidential. A neutral person (the mediator) works to identify the core issues and tries to resolve disputes through clarification of issues and communication between the two sides.

American Medical Association (AMA): This is a nationwide medical group. The group publishes guidelines which doctors use to determine your level of impairment for your injuries.

Amputation Chart (Form 7): This form is a way for your doctor to show where a body part has been amputated.

Appeal: A process where the losing side asks a higher court to review an adverse decision.

Assertion of Rights: This is a way for claimants to protect their claim so nobody can argue you didn’t start the claim properly, but also lets the state commission know that you’re not requesting any action be taken on the complaint until further notice.

Attending Physician’s Report (Form 6): This form is not mandatory. It is filled out by your family doctor to detail your injuries. It does help everyone understand your injuries.


  • Defense Counsel (PD): This is the lawyer for the employer and for the insurance carrier. The employer/carrier chooses this lawyer.
  • Injured Worker’s Counsel (PQ): This is the lawyer for the injured worker. The worker chooses his/her own lawyer. While not required, it is advisable to use an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer.

Average Weekly Wage (AWW): Before determining a worker’s benefits, the amount of income the worker earned on a regular basis is calculated. It’s usually your salary divided by 52 (for 52 weeks).

Award: This is the decision by the Virginia Worker’s Compensation Act which allows or denies benefits. If benefits are allowed, the amount and length of benefits is set forth in the award.

Award Agreement (Agreement to Pay Benefits – Form 4): This is similar to an award except that it is usually based on an agreement between the worker and the insurance company/employer.

Speak with a Norfolk Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Learn More

Norfolk workers’ comp lawyer Joe Miller at Joe Miller Law, has over 25 years of experience helping injured workers. He’s represented clients in North Carolina and Virginia for over 25 years. He knows which benefits you’re allowed and will fight to make sure you get those benefits. If the employer tries to say you can return to work when you can’t, Joe Miller Esq. will work with you and your doctors so you return to work when you’re able to. He’s helped thousands of clients get a just recovery and he’s ready to help you. Learn more by calling (888) 694-1671 today.

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If you are looking at this site, you or a loved one has probably been hurt. If that's true, you've come to the right place. Helping people who have been hurt is what we do. In fact, it is all we do. Joe Miller Law is a law firm concentrating exclusively on representing people who are injured by the carelessness of others or those hurt on the job. We provide the highest quality legal services to people who have been seriously injured. We practice Personal Injury law and Workmens' Compensation law in both Virginia and North Carolina.