Virginia Workers' Compensation Injury Requirement
Most people assume that if they are injured at work, it is a workers' compensation claim. That assumption is not true in Virginia. In order for a injury at work to result in a successful claim, there are two distinct requirements.
The first is that the injury occur during the course of employment. This is the expected "at work" requirement. In Virginia, workers' compensation claims also require that the injury arise out of work. Basically this means the injury has to be caused by a work-related risk.
For example, if someone falls down the stairs at work and suffers an injury, there is not necessarily a workers' compensation claim. Virginia considers walking down stairs to be a normal activity that everyone does outside of work. For a fall on stairs to be compensable, there have to be other circumstances making the fall a risk of the work environment. If the stairs are unusually high or crumbling or uneven, then that would be a work risk. If the person who fell was carrying a bunch of tools that made it hard to walk down the stairs, that would also be a work risk.
So, when trying to analyze if you have a workers' compensation claim remember the two requirements. An experienced lawyer can help determine if the injury meets the "arising out of work" test.