Washington legislators will consider five new workers’ compensation bills that could have a considerable effect on the workers’ compensation regulations in the state of Washington. Proponents, mainly those with business interests, hail these bills as a blessing for injured workers because it will make it easier to take settlement agreements; thereby making the entire workers’ compensation system in Washington more cost-effective. Opponents disagree. They believe that the financial benefits will come at the expense of injured Washington workers and that these bills are designed to simply save businesses money at any cost.
In 2011, the entire Washington workers’ compensation system went through a major overhaul with a set of reforms that was designed to curb the costs of an already abused system. Currently, Washington State is one of the most generous when it comes to compensating injured workers; however this does come at a price. This additional expense makes it difficult for businesses to expand and create jobs. Many believe that this new group of bills could make Washington more competitive for job-creating ventures. Washington legislators will now get to debate whether or not these workers’ compensation bills should be approved.
The Washington Workers’ Compensation Bills under Scrutiny
SB 5124: Adds simplicity to the calculation of workers’ compensation benefits by changing the definition of wages, removing the value of medical, dental, and vision benefits, and changing the way overtime is calculated. In addition this bill lowers maximum benefits to be received. SB 5125: Clarification of occupational disease claims SB 5126: Removes restrictions that prevented Washington’s ability to collect from a third party that caused injury to a worker. SB 5127: Removes age barriers and limits cash settlements to workers 55 and over. SB 5128: Addresses compensation for injured workers by allowing medical benefits to be rolled into cash settlements, along with income replacement.
Washington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you have been injured while on the job in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Tacoma, or anywhere in the State of Washington, call Phillips Law Firm at 1-800-708-6000. The new Washington workers’ compensation reforms are complicated and have brought numerous changes to our workers’ compensation system. Our Washington workers’ compensation lawyers can answer all of your questions, review your case, and help you obtain all of the benefits to which you are entitled. Call us today for a free review of your case.