In order to prove an injury by accident in Virginia the injured worker must demonstrate: (1) an identifiable incident; (2) that occurs at some reasonably definite time; (3) an obvious sudden mechanical or structural change in the body; and (4) a causal connection between the incident and the bodily change. Injuries that result from repetitive or cumulative trauma, or those sustained at an unknown time are not compensable.
It is very important to be specific about how your accident happened. Let me provide an example: If I am unloading a truck filled with 100 boxes and my back hurts when I finish because I just unloaded 100 heavy boxes that is a cumulative injury and not covered by workers’ compensation. However, if while unloading the boxes I pick up one box, turn and feel an immediate pain or pop in my back, it is covered. When reporting the injury, if I say I hurt my back unloading boxes, it will most likely be denied. But if I am specific about picking up one box and immediately feeling the pain, it will most likely be accepted by the insurer.
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