Virginia Worker’s Compensation Accident — Not Unknown Incident
A worker’s compensation accident is compensable an “unexplained incident” is not. When a prospect calls me for help, I don’t want to find out the worker was injured and does not know what happened. This is especially a problem when the worker is working alone. Often, in this situation the worker is the only witness to the incident. If the worker does not know how he/she was injured then the worker can lose the claim. I see this problem especially in the case of falls with a resulting concussion.
Many workers think the accident happened “at work” so the employer must be responsible. The fact the accident happened at work does prove part of the case but only part of the case. The accident has to be caused by a “risk of the workplace” at his/her place of employment. If the injured worker does not know what happened, then the worker has a hard time proving a “risk of the workplace” caused the accident.
In rare cases, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission will apply a “rebuttable presumption” that a worker who is found dead at his/her place of employment will be presumed to have died due to a “risk of the employment” but this scenario rarely occurs.