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Law Office of Kathleen Grace Walsh

If I'm injured at work, it must be covered by workers’ compensation, right? Not necessarily.

Kathleen Walsh
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Social Security Disability and Workers' Comp Lawyer

Work Injury in Prince William County


You have been injured at work, it is not your fault, or maybe it is, but it happened at work so it must be covered by workers’ compensation, right?  Not necessarily, just because you have been hurt at work does not mean that you will be covered under workers’ compensation.  In Virginia, your injury has to be an identifiable incident that arises out of and in the course of your employment.

 Lets talk about the first requirement, a specific injury.  So many times in my career I have had injured workers tell me they were hurt after moving boxes or loading bags.  In order to be covered under Virginia law you have to be able to identify a specific time when you were lifting a box or a bag.  To be covered, you must have been injured while lifting or moving ONE item; not two, not twenty.

 For workers with heavy jobs who often suffer aches or pain while doing their job, because they have had pain in the past, they think that the pain will go away.  When they wake up the next day in pain they worry; now they realize they are hurt and did not report an injury.  It does not make any difference that you continue working after you get hurt thinking that you will be better.  What matters is that you can remember that the pain started when you picked up, or moved one item.  If you make the mistake of telling an insurance adjuster in a recorded statement that you don’t remember what you were doing when you had pain or that you injured yourself over the course of 15 minutes while doing your job, your injury will not be covered under workers’ compensation.