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I was injured in an accident out-of-state. What state has jurisdiction over my work comp case?

(Part 1)

Each state creates and manages its own workers compensation system. The procedural rules and the amount and types of workers compensation benefits available to an injured employee vary greatly from state to state.

Some states are more accommodating than others when it comes to workers comp. And each state places a different value on each body part injured.

For example, a work-related back injury in Maryland may be worth much more in Virginia. But a work-related shoulder injury in Virginia may be worth much more than the same injury in Maryland.

The difference in state workers comp structures creates a tactical advantage or some injured workers.

Multiple states may have jurisdiction over your workers comp claim. What states have jurisdiction over your work injury depends on where you were hurt, what your employment contract says, and where your employer has a principal place of business. If multiple states have jurisdiction you can file a workers compensation claim in any of those states.

You should always file a workers comp claim in the state with the best benefits and procedural rules. Depending on the type of accident, body parts injured, and whether you satisfy the work injury reporting requirements and applicable statute of limitations, you may want to file in a state other than Virginia.

This article discusses when the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission has jurisdiction over your accidental injury or occupational disease claim.

As an injured employee you can file a workers comp claim in Virginia if you meet one of three criteria.

Did Your Work Injury Happen in Virginia?

Virginia has jurisdiction over your workers compensation claim if you were injured within the state’s borders. Virginia has jurisdiction over out-of-state/foreign injuries if:

  • The contract of employment was made in Virginia; and
  • The employer’s place of business is in Virginia.

Stated simply: When a contract of employment is made in Virginia and the employer has a place of business in Virginia, then you may receive Virginia workers compensation benefits because Virginia has jurisdiction.

But there is one exception to the general rule – Virginia does not have workers compensation jurisdiction if the contract of employment was expressly for service outside of Virginia. If you were hired with the understanding that all the work you performed would be in a state other than Virginia, then Virginia does not have jurisdiction in your workers compensation case.

This exception, however, does not apply if you are assigned to perform any work in Virginia, no matter how limited the type of work and how short the period.

We’re your Virginia Work Comp experts

Virginia workers' compensation laws were written to help injured workers without the need of going through the court system. Unfortunately, businesses and their workers' compensation insurance companies can make obtaining the help you deserve more difficult than it should be.

Have you been injured on the job or contracted an illness due to an unhealthy work environment? If so, then the Norfolk workers’ compensation attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman PC can help you file your lawsuit. There are several laws that can effect on the outcome of your case, so it’s extremely important to have a workers' comp lawyer on your side to assist you through the entire process. Get help with your workers’ compensation lawsuit. Contact us today by calling (855) 880-8163.

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