I got hurt at work, but my claim has been denied because my employer claims that my injury did not fit the definition of an ‘injury by accident’. What does that mean?

Answer: “Injury by Accident” has a very specific definition under Virginia Workers Compensation Law. It generally means something had to happen that was unusual, that was not part of the normal work routine. In other words, if you were simply performing your usual tasks at work in the usual way, and started to feel some pain during the day, that is not considered an “injury by accident.”

On the other hand, if you were doing something strenuous that was part of your job and suddenly felt and maybe heard a painful ‘pop’ in your injured body part, at a very specific point in time that would likely be considered an accident. The language of the law says that you must experience a sudden event that causes an ‘obvious sudden mechanical or structural change in the body.’

Many employers do not understand this and believe an ‘accident’ only occurs when you slip, trip, or fall, but that is not the case under Virginia Workers Compensation Law.

We know how to handle these kinds of defenses. If the employer is denying your claim due to this sort of statement, please contact us.