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Virginia Brain Injury Victims Often Denied Workers’ Compensation

Posted on Sep 27, 2010
Did you know that there’s a loophole in Virginia’s worker’s compensation laws that can make it difficult for workers who suffer from head injuries or traumatic brain injuries to collect the money they deserve?

Here’s one man’s story: 36-year-old Mike Gentry of Roanoke, Virginia, was installing a satellite dish on a roof of a customer when he fell off the home and suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was in a coma for several days and now struggles with vision problems, cognitive issues, slurred speech, seizures, and other long-term consequences of his head injury. However, his workers’ comp claim was denied because Gentry can’t remember the on-the-job accident and no witnesses saw it happen.

Even though Gentry’s customer heard the ladder on the roof slip and even though he found Gentry having a seizure on the concrete next to his hard hat, he is not eligible for workers’ compensation and his family had to seek financial support from friends, family, and community members. Ironically, if he had died in his fall accident, his family would have been covered and supported by Virginia workers’ compensation.

Unfortunately, this glitch in the law is universally seen as unfair – but it hasn’t been fixed even though a number of other workers have also been affected by the same loophole. If you have a brain injury and no one see you fall or strike your head, you may not be covered.

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