Thank you for your question and I'm sorry to hear about your brother's injury.
Let me start by saying that these sort of injuries are very serious and can be permanently disabling. So, this claim is very serious and the workers compensation
insurance carrier will be represented by a lawyer. With back injuries, the insurance carrier will often try to claim it was related to a pre-existing injury rather than occurring strictly at work. If your brother does not get a lawyer he will be at a disadvantage.
In Virginia, the doctor determines whether to release your brother to work light duty or whether to tell him that he is to stay off duty completely. If he is returned to light duty, but the employer has no light duty, your brother's temporary
income benefits will remain the same (66.66% of his pre-injury average weekly wage
). If your brother is determined by the doctor to have a whole body disability after he has gone through the surgeries, then he will be eligible for partial disability benefits in accordance with the percentage disability of his entire body as rated by his doctor.
He will also be given the opportunity to be retrained for a different career that will allow him to work with the level of disability that he is found to have after reaching maximum medical improvement.
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