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Workers Compensation Lawyer Gerald Lutkenhaus
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Workers Compensation Lawyer | Gerald Lutkenhaus
Workers Compensation Lawyer | Gerald Lutkenhaus

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Workers Compensation Lawyer's posts

A Doctor Fee Schedule is coming for Virginia Workers' Compensation Cases. A committee for the Virginia legislature is working on this. The big concern I have as a representative for claimants is will the coming Fee Schedule mean claimants will be denied access to the best doctors who won't want to accept the Fee Schedule. The plan is to have this Fee Schedule in place by January 2018. 

Exciting new Virginia Workers Compensation case from the Virginia Court of Appeals, Van Buren v. Augusta County, July 19, 2016. Van Buren, a firefighter, suffered a neck injury in a 45 minute rescue of a 400 man from a collapsed shower. The Workers Compensation Commission had denied Van Buren's claim of a neck injury because he could not pinpoint when his neck pain started. However, the Court of Appeals reversed holding the neck injury occurred due to one specific event -- the 45 minute rescue and this satisfied the specificity requirement. 

In Virginia, is bending a compensable workers' compensation accident?

A prospect called. She was on chicken assembly line and bent over to turn off her machine. Her back locked up. Is this an accident under Virginia Workers' Compensation Law? Virginia has a two prong test. An accident must "arise out of" and be in the "course of" the employment. The chicken worker was in the course of her employment but did it arise out of the employment. The Commission has often said "mere bending" does not constitute an accident. Some awkward movement is necessary. 

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Social Security Disability may be harder to get in Richmond, Virginia

I have been representing disability claimants before Richmond Social Security Judges for over 35 years. In the old days, the statistics indicate in Richmond, Virginia the approval rate before judges was between 50-60%. Recent statistics indicate a disturbing trend. It now appears a number of the judges are approving only 25-28% of the cases. Now, the highest approval rate for any of the judges is only 47%. 

What is a Virginia Workers' Compensation Accident?

It has two prongs. It must "usually" occur at work and it must "arise" out of the work place environment. The first prong is usually easy to satisfy. However, what happens when you are injured on your lunch break. Are you still at work? The second prong can get tricky. For instance, consider the following: (1) if you are at work and you fall out of your office chair or (2) if you are at work and your knee gives out and you fall or (3) if you reach for a pencil and throw out your left shoulder are these incidents " compensable accidents" under the Workers' Compensation Act? If your claim is denied, then it is time to consult an experienced workers' compensation lawyer to find out if your incident is/is not an accident. You can contact me at: www.geraldlutkenhaus.com.


Represented 61 year old autocad worker in a Social Security Disability case today. The key to the case was the vocational consultant listed this past relevant work as light with no transferable skills. Due to osteoarthritis the claimant was reduced to sedentary or less than sedentary work. He also could only walk with a cane which was not compatible with light duty work. Thus, the Judge had to award the claimant disability benefits. 

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In Virginia when is a lawsuit for negligent hiring better than a workers' compensation claim?
If there is an assault in the workplace by a co-employee, there are usually two possible remedies for the victim or the victim's dependents. One is a workers' compensation claim and the other is a personal injury claim against the employer. Of course, the b...

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Sexual Assault in the Workplace in Virginia: Is there a workers compensation remedy?
The test for a Workers's Compensation Injury in Virginia has two components. It must occur "during the course" of the employment. And it must "arise out of" the employment. Thus, a sexual assault during work would definitely meet the first prong of the test...

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Virginia arm injury on the job or was it a neck injury?
In Virginia I often see an injury on the job that is diagnosed as an arm injury. Later it turns out it was really a neck injury or there was a neck injury in addition to the arm injury. A late discovery of a neck injury in addition to the arm injury can be ...
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