Home exercise equipment and therapy aids can be paid for by the workers compensation insurance company according to Herndon Reston area injury lawyer Doug Landau of ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. For example, in the case of Emmett v. Food Lion, Inc., 73 OWC 166 (1994), an employee sought to hold her employer responsible for exercise equipment prescribed by her treating physician. The Workers Compensation Commission agreed that the equipment was allowed by the Act as an “appliance prescribed by the treating physician” but found that the employer was not required to purchase in-home equipment when it offered to provide use of the equipment at a local gym.
The trial team at ABRAMS LANDAU has gotten gym memberships for clients where the attending physicians have prescribed and exercise program or self-regulated physical therapy. The Loudoun Fairfax Injury Board member has even won pool memberships for clients who need “aqua therapy,” “hydrotherapy,” “aquatic exercise” and “non weight bearing activity.”
In cases where a local gym is not “local,” or the cost is prohibitive, or travel is dangerous or contrary to the treating doctors’ instructions, home exercise equipment can be made the responsibility of the insurance company. Likewise, home therapeutic aids and equipment can be made the responsibility of the insurance company. Examples of such expensive items ABRAMS LANDAU has won for clients include: hospital beds for the home, ramps, railing, special commodes, spa heaters, electrical stimulation units, ergometers, hand exercisers, therapy bands and exercise bikes.
Where the injured claimant cannot travel absent a wheelchair-accessible van, the Workers Compensation Act clearly provides for transportation expenses to and from medical treatment, including meal expenses. Thus, Virginia law is clear, according to Virginia workers comp lawyer Doug Landau that the employer is required to provide appropriate transportation to and from medical treatment, taking into account the claimant’s wheelchair limitations.