Virginia House Bill 153 went into effect on July 1, 2012. Any work injuries which occur after that date will not be covered under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act if they are covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. This means that Longshoremen and Shipyard workers who are covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act will no longer have the benefit of also pursuing Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act benefits.
How will this affect you?
However, under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, only the employer itself is protected from being sued by an individual who is injured on the job. This means that where an injured workers’ accident, was a caused by a subcontractor working on the same job, the worker can receive workers’ compensation benefits from his employer while he recovers from the injury, and then potentially file a third party law suit against the individual, or company, who caused the injury. In those situations, the employer would be entitled to reimbursement for amounts paid on the injured workers’ behalf, but the injured worker could be paid damages for pain and suffering that resulted from the injury.
As indicated above, this change which is effective July 1, 2012 only applies to injuries that occur on or after July 1, 2012. Please keep these significant changes in mind if you, your friends or family suffer an injury on the job.