Virginia Court Requires Insurer to Provide Transportation to Doctor’s Office In Spite of Fact That It Already Paid to Modify Vehicle

It is one thing to modify an injured employee’s vehicle so as to accommodate his wheelchair or scooter. It is quite another to provide the employee with necessary transportation assistance in getting to his or her doctor. That such modifications have been provided by a workers’ compensation insurer does not mean that additional assistance in securing transportation related to medical care is not also required, held a Virginia appellate court on Tuesday in Howard Bros., Inc. v. Howard, 2014 Va. App. LEXIS 99 (Mar. 18, 2014). Quoting Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 94.03, the appellate court indicated in pertinent part that the employer had ignored the fact that the employee could not drive the modified vehicle himself. The employee’s wife could not be expected to provide transportation to the doctor on an indefinite basis. Credible evidence supported the Commission’s requirement that the employer/carrier provide for the payment of reasonable and appropriate transportation to medically-prescribed appointments.

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