We represent many injured workers who have serious and catastrophic injuries including paraplegics or quadriplegics or other folks who are very limited in handling their own ADLs (activities of daily living). They are in need of regular and ongoing help at home. Sometimes the home health care is provided by agreement with the employer/carrier with the assistance of nurses of certified nursing assistants. On other occasions the care is not provided by agreement and is provided by spouses or family members.
Unfortunately, the law in Virginia is that simply because the care is needed due to a claimant’s work injuries does not necessarily mean that the employer and carrier must pay for it. If the family member is providing that care that in order for them to be compensated for doing that so: 1) it must also be care that the employer/carrier is aware of, 2) it must be care at the direction of the authorized treating physician, 3) it must be care that is of the type of care normally provided by trained medical personnel and, 4) there must be some reasonable means of determining fair compensation for that care. Since the cost of this type of care is expensive it is often disputed because that care might not include all of the aforementioned fair items or for some other reasons.
If you have questions about these issues or anything else related to your workers’ compensation case, please give us a call at (804) 294-2966.