The Notion of ‘Compensable Consequences’ under Virginia Law means “When a new injury occurs as a result or consequence of your work injury, then you can recover for the new injury. You are not even required to file a new claim for benefits for the additional body part, unless and until the claim for the new injury is denied.”
The great thing about compensable consequence: it does not matter where the injury occurred. You could be injured at home or even on vacation, it does not matter at all. Furthermore, while normally, you cannot recover for an injury that occurs on the job gradually, over time, this limitation does not apply to compensable consequences.
Here are two examples from my book Strong Justice for Work Accident Victims: 10 Traps & Lies that will Ruin Your VA Workers Comp Case:
- You had a severe, compensable work injury to your right knee some time ago. Your claim is accepted by the workers compensation insurance company. You underwent surgery for that right knee. But from time to time, as a result of that knee injury, your right knee tends to buckle. You have told the doctor about this, but he says there’s really nothing that can be done, this is a result of the knee injury you suffered. One day, perhaps a year later, you’re walking down your stairs at home, and your right knee suddenly buckles, sending you tumbling down the stairs. As a result of that fall at home, you suffer severe injuries to your low back. You might now require surgery to your lumbar spine.
It doesn’t matter that you were hurt at home or that a different body part is now hurting. So long as your treating doctor supports the notion that your knee buckling and hence your fall, was caused by your original, compensable knee injury and the residual problems from that injury, you have suffered a compensable consequence injury and you are therefore entitled to all benefits relating to that injury.
- Someone suffers a severe, compensable work injury to the left knee for which the person must undergo surgery. Although the left knee improved, the ongoing pain has left the injured worker with a limp. (In medical terms, this is referred to as an antalgic gait). Eventually, the limp begins to cause this person to have back pain until eventually back surgery is required to repair a herniated disc in the lumbar spine. The worker’s doctor says that the back pain and disc was likely caused by the continued limp that the injured person had due to the left knee injury.
Again, so long as the doctor supports the idea that the back injury was due to the ongoing limp and that the ongoing limp was due to the original, compensable left knee injury, that person will be entitled to recover for a compensable consequence, in this case, the back injury.
A good workers’ compensation lawyer who can insure that your doctor states all the proper opinions utilizing the appropriate legal jargon, can help convince the employer to enter into an Award Agreement in lieu of a formal hearing. Moreover, in those instances where the evidence is clear and obvious, we would likely ask for sanctions against the employer and carrier for delaying payment on the claim.
Hurt at Work in Virginia? Call Attorney Joe Miller Esq.
Attorney Joe Miller knows Virginia Workers’ Compensation Law. Because of his extensive experience, he knows many of the arguments less experienced lawyer won’t know. Workers’ Compensation is not something you can just ‘dabble’ in. Joe has helped thousands of injury victims for more than 25 years. Call the Work Injury Center at 888-694-1671 to get Strong Justice for your injury.