"Act of God" and Compensability in Virginia

By: Eva C. Roffis and Joseph T. McNally, Jr.

With the spring season here and the summer months approaching, many employers may find an increase in work tasks to be performed outdoors. As a result of increased productivity outdoors, employees will be exposed to varying weather conditions and forces of nature in the form of wind, rain, lightning, hail, etc. However, accidents and injuries caused by weather conditions must be tied to an actual risk of employment in order to be found compensable.

"Act of God" and the Actual Risk Test

In Virginia, the “actual risk” test requires that the employment task expose the employee to the particular danger that instigated his or her injury. Under the actual risk test, evidence of an injury while at work from a force of nature, standing alone,

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Material Misrepresentation on an Employment Application as a Defense to Workers' Compensation Claims

A Resource to Utilize in Workers' Comp Defense

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Case Analysis: Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel

By: Esther King, Esq. 

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2018 Annual Review of Virginia Workers' Compensation Trends

By: Amanda Tapscott Belliveau, Esq. 

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Using Social Media Evidence to Defend Workers' Compensation Claims

By: Eva C. Roffis

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Beat the Heat: Defending and Preventing Heat Exposure Claims

By: Emily C. Whitaker 

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Navigating the Two Causes Rule

By: Lauren E. Hutcheson, Esq

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Physician Panels and Challenges Presented by Urgent Care Facilities

By: Esther King, Esq.

The beginning of any new claim can be difficult.  There are often more questions than answers, and you want to ensure that the claimant is provided with prompt care by an appropriate provider.    

Virginia Code §65.2-603(A)(1) provides: “as long as necessary after an accident, the employer shall furnish or cause to be furnished, free of charge to the injured employee, a physician chosen by the injured employee from a panel of at least three physicians selected by the employer.”

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McCandlish Holton Workers' Compensation Practice Reorganizes

The Workers’ Compensation practice group at McCandlish Holton has reorganized after the departure of 2 of its 8 Richmond-based workers’ compensation attorneys. “McCandlish Holton’s team of 6 experienced workers’ compensation attorneys continues to represent employers, insurers and self-insureds throughout Virginia,” says Amanda Tapscott Belliveau, the new head of the McCandlish Holton Workers’ Compensation practice group. “Our team is energized and excited about this change, and we look forward to providing our clients with the same level of outstanding service and results that we have always provided.” Amanda’s team includes some of the most experienced and respected workers’ compensation attorneys in Virginia, including Lauren Hutcheson, Esther King, Emily Whittaker, Eva Roffis and Brian Frame

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No Medical Progress? Consider a Change in Treating Physician

By: Eva C. Roffis, Esq.

Often times we find a claim has stalled because the claimant’s treating physician is offering inadequate care. In these situations, either party may seek a change in treating physician.

In Virginia, the circumstances that justify a change in treating physician are as follows:

  • Inadequate treatment is being rendered;
  • Specialized treatment is needed and is not being provided;
  • A lack of progress or improvement of the claimant's condition without any adequate explanation is shown;
  • Conventional modalities are not being used;
  • No plan of treatment for a long-term disability is established; and 
  • The treating physician fails to cooperate with discovery proceedings ordered by the Commission.

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