Virginia Workers’ Compensation Legislative Alert: New Legislation Takes Effect July 1, 2024

By: Lauren E. HutchesonWorkers' Compensation

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5 Investigative Tips for Determining Jurisdiction of Out-of-State Injuries

Workers’ Compensation Defense Digest | July 2023

Accidents that happen outside of Virginia are known as “foreign injuries” under Virginia Code § 65.2-508. That code section provides the framework for determining whether the accident falls under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act.

When an accident takes place outside of Virginia, the claimant can recover under the Act if both:

(1) The claimant’s contract of employment was made in Virginia; and
(2) The employer has a place of business in Virginia; provided the contract of employment was not expressly for services outside Virginia.

It is the claimant’s burden to establish these elements.

Contract of Employment

The contract of employment may be in writing or may be a verbal agreement. The place where the last act necessary to give validity to a contract occurs is the place where the contract is made.

Determining where the last act necessary to complete the contract is made can be tough, but the case law provides useful examples:

In Pro-Football Inc. v. Paul, 39 Va. App. 1, 569 S.E.2d 66 (Sept. 3, 2002), a professional football player was traded from the Denver Broncos to the Washington Commanders. As a

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Workers’ Compensation Legislative Alert: 4 New Virginia Laws Taking Effect July 1, 2023

These 4 new or amended laws will take effect on July 1, 2023:

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Court of Appeals Reverses Temporary Partial Disability Award

Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control v. Blot, Record No. 1395-21-2 (Va. App. Sept. 6, 2022).

The claimant tripped over a rug and injured his knee sustaining a compensable injury by accident. Later, the claimant stopped working after receiving a note from his cardiologist taking him out of work due to COVID. The claimant admitted his decision to stop working was not due to his knee injury.

During the claimant’s absence from work, the employer replaced him.  Approximately one year later, the claimant returned to light duty work. His treating physician gave him “light duty” restrictions but did not specify what those restrictions where, nor did the doctor restrict the number of hours the claimant could work.

The employer had updated their systems in the claimant’s absence, so when he returned to work he needed to be retrained. While he was on light duty, he worked reduced hours due to scheduling issues and his need to be retrained. He began marketing his residual capacity but did not find a job.

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Virginia Workers’ Compensation Legislative Alert: New Legislation Takes Effect July 1, 2022

These 5 new laws will take effect on July 1, 2022:

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Provider Panel Considerations

What is a panel?

A valid panel is a list of at least three different providers from at least three different practice groups from which the claimant may select an authorized treating provider.

Once a provider is selected from a panel, the claimant is limited to treating with that provider and with the referrals made by that provider.

Why is a panel important?

The panel is an important tool, as it provides some control to the employer and carrier in limiting which doctors the claimant may treat with in the workers’ compensation claim. After the treating physician is established in a claim, it can be difficult for either party to later change treating physicians unless all parties agree.

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Virginia Workers’ Compensation Legislative Alert: Proposed Legislation 2022

Twenty proposed bills related to workers’ compensation are currently pending before the Virginia General Assembly. Read further for summaries of important proposed legislation targeting:

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Commission Further Defines What Constitutes a Compensable Injury by Accident


The claim below represents another example of how the Commission is distinguishing compensable, identifiable events from non-compensable cumulative/repetitive trauma. 


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Recent Opinion Finds Employers Responsible for Cost of FCE Impairment Rating

This Recent Opinion is a Departure

In its recent Opinion in Elliott v. Sam Green Vault Corp., JCN VA00001108316 (Oct. 5, 2021), the Commission departs from its prior rulings, with one Commissioner dissenting. 

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Updates From The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission & General Assembly


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