My Leg is Ruined – How can my Workers’ Comp Insurance Company Expect Me to Find Work?

When a worker has sustained a permanent injury to an arm or leg, resulting in a large permanency rating of 30, 40 or even 50%, they often feel they cannot return to work. This is especially true for commercial truck and bus drivers, delivery men and women, and those laborers who work in the “big box” warehouses.

However, the test under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act is not whether or not you can return to your pre-injury job.

Rather, the test under the Virginia law is whether you can go back to ANY other job that you are physically able to perform.

Doug Landau, of the Herndon law firm Abrams Landau, Ltd., notes that if an injured truck or bus driver or warehouse worker refuses to take on a light-duty job other than her pre-injury position, she will almost certainly be cut off from compensation benefits.

Furthermore, a disabled worker with a leg or arm injury who has the use of his other limbs must make reasonable and consistent efforts to market his remaining physical abilities, or again risk losing his compensation Award.

The workers’ comp judges who hear these cases every day have little patience for the arguments of workers who claim that because one limb is no longer able to be used, and they cannot do the job for which they had trained or practiced their entire lives, their on-the-job injury renders them unable to work at all.

Instead, the Virginia comp judges take the position that once the injury has stabilized, it is incumbent upon the employee — not necessarily the employer or their insurance company — to take steps every week to locate “selective employment“.

“Selective employment” simply means light duty work that can be performed without the use of the injured leg or the amputated arm.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a workplace incident and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).