Legal Question in Workers Comp in Virginia

I was employed for nearly 10 years and incurred a herniated disc due to my job. I had surgery Feb/09 and still am incurring pain as a result of a permanently damaged sciatic nerve. I am still receiving benefits and I do have an award registered with the state. However, I have been attending school and have been trying to get funding for my retraining. I live in Canada and am a Canadian citizen, and have been told because of this they cannot fund my retraining through school and want to settle with me. What can I do and what am I entitled to as a settlement?

Asked on 6/03/10, 10:56 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Peter M. Sweeny, Esq. Author:Virginia Workers' Compensation Case Finder

Settlement value is determined by a number of factors which are not included in your question so it would be speculation to determine the value of your case. The argument that you are not entitled to to retraining because you are a Canadian citizen is probably a ploy to encourage you to settle your case.

I negotiate settlements on a monthly basis and know that you must be careful as to how you value your claim and how you approach the insurance company. I would not try to do this without an experienced and competent attorney to guide you through the process.

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Answered on 6/03/10, 2:22 pm
Gerald Lutkenhaus Virginia Workers Compensation & Disability Lawyer

I agree with Mr. Sweeny. I would add you could apply for the insurance company to pay for your re-training. However, you may need a vocational expert report stating this re-training is a valid re-training program that will lead to employment. The insurance company is not required to pay for a general college education.

Generally, a settlement value is determined by your current WC rate, number of weeks possibly you could collect benefits, degree of current disability and work restrictions, job prospects, current medical expenses, and future medical expenses. Also, see

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Answered on 6/05/10, 12:00 pm

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