News

The Court of Appeals Changes the Game for Change in Condition

On January 16, 2024, The Court of Appeals of Virginia (“COA”) issued an opinion in the matter of Lucinda Walker v. Virginia Dept. of Corrections, which was on appeal from the Full Commission of the Virginia Worker’s Compensation Commission (“VWCC”) where her claim for temporary total disability based on a change in condition had been deemed barred under Virginia Code § 65.2-708. The reasoning of The COA for overturning VWCC’s decision represents a significant shift in how and under what circumstances § 65.2-708 (below) is interpreted. Specifically, in deciding when/if the clock starts for the twenty-four (24) consecutive months “from...

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WEBINAR – Advancements in Ortho Biologics and Interventional Orthopedics

Join us for an interactive webinar where Nadeem A. Khan, MD (Interventional Pain and Spine Specialists) and Scott Ford, Esquire (Ford Richardson, P.C.) examine the medical and legal aspects of Orthopedic advancements of Orthobiologics and their benefits for acute as well as chronic injuries. February 16, 2024 2:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. We have applied for the following CEU:  CCM & CLE’s Register Now Should you have any questions about the issues discussed here or other legal issues, please do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at Ford Richardson. Ford Richardson is a full-service law firm with headquarters located in...

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Commission Unveils New Medical Fee Services Calculator

On December 21, 2023, the Commission announced the release of a new Medical Fee Services (MFS) calculator. The calculator is currently in the testing phase and is slated to completely replace the old MFS Reference Tool in January 2024. Please note that the current MFS Reference Tool will only remain active until January 31, 2024. The new MFS calculator is intended to be a more convenient and efficient tool to determine regional classifications and maximum rates of payment, with the ability to adjust for certain modifiers. To use the calculator, the following information must be known: the Jurisdictional Claim Number...

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Happy Holidays from Ford Richardson 2023

As we approach our sixth year in business, it brings us so much joy to be a part of such a strong community of professionals. Click here to view video message   Should you have any questions about the issues discussed here or other legal issues, please do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at Ford Richardson. Ford Richardson is a full-service law firm with headquarters located in Richmond’s financial district and satellite offices in Roanoke, Fairfax and Virginia Beach and Washington, D.C.. Our commitment to our clients is simple: offer top-tier clear legal solutions that allow our clients to...

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2023 COLA Increase

Virginia Code Section 65.2-709 allows for claimants to obtain a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to their weekly compensation benefits each year. COLA does not apply to temporary partial disability benefits or permanent partial disability benefits. It does apply to temporary total disability benefits, permanent total benefits, and death benefits. The purpose behind COLA is to ensure that the value of benefits paid to injured workers is not diminished by inflation. The COLA rate is dictated by the Consumer Price Index and varies year to year. It is published on the Virginia Worker’s Compensation Commission website. There is also a calculator on...

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Horseplay or Assault? The Thin Line of Intent

Joe Smith and Mary Jones are “horsing around” at work. Joe takes it a bit too far and Mary sustains an injury. Is Mary’s injury compensable? It is not necessarily a common fact pattern, but it happens – – an employee is injured due to the actions of a fellow co-worker. The Commission has, historically, endeavored to separate these injuries into two categories: (1) those sustained as a result of horseplay, and (2) those sustained as a result of assault. The distinction is crucial to understanding a claimant’s burden of proof in these cases. For assault cases between two co-workers,...

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Ladders: A Slippery Slope

In last month’s e-blast, Scott C. Ford, Esquire, discussed Virginia’s elusive definition of an “injury by accident.” (see full article here). Yet again, the Full Commission has again expanded the definition of a compensable injury by accident, this time in the context of the extremely slippery world of ladder accidents. In Allen v. ABF Freight System, Inc., JCN VA00001877064 (August 3, 2023) the Full Commission overturned the Deputy Commission’s holding that the claimant had failed to prove his right knee injury arose out of a risk of his employment. In Allen, the claimant, a truck driver, backed his truck up...

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Virginia’s Elusive Definition of “Injury by Accident”

The Full Commission’s Opinion in Woodmancy v. Jett’s Specialty Contracting, JCN: VA00001945163 (July 7, 2023) is yet the latest example of the Commission’s application of definition of “injury by accident” in Virginia. For years the definition of “injury by accident” was quite straightforward requiring claimant to establish a single, identifiable incident. The most often cited case for this proposition was Morris v. Morris, 238 Va. 578 (1989). However, beginning with the case of Van Buren v. Augusta County, Record No.: 1975-15-3 (July 19, 2016) we began to see an erosion of the definition of “injury by accident.” This author believes...

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Legal Minute: Permanent Total Disability

Click here to watch this month’s one minute adjuster tip that is on the topic of:  Legal Minute: Permanent Total Disability   Should you have any questions about the issues discussed here or other legal issues, please do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at Ford Richardson. Ford Richardson is a full-service law firm with headquarters located in Richmond’s financial district and satellite offices in Roanoke, Fairfax and Virginia Beach and Washington, D.C.. Our commitment to our clients is simple: offer top-tier clear legal solutions that allow our clients to excel in their business. We are privileged to give back...

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New Legislation Taking Effect – Effective July 1, 2023

Due to divided political control of the Virginia government, the 2023 legislative session was relatively mild in regards to workers’ compensation. Four new bills are set to take effect on July 1, 2023, almost all of which expand benefits to first responders. Each of the bills passed by the General Assembly this year were signed by the Governor without amendment. NEWLY ENACTED LEGISLATION – BILLS ARE EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2023: HB 1408: Presumption of Compensability for Bladder and Thyroid Cancers – Expands the presumption of compensability of certain cancers for firefighters, police officers, and certain hazardous material officers and special...

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