Workers Compensation Lawyers – Seattle, Washington
Worker’s Compensation in Washington State is one of only four state-run worker’s compensation insurance programs in the country. Washington State Labor and Industries (L&I) is an agreement between employees and employers that, if the employer pays their premiums and provides a safe work environment, the employee will not sue the employer. However, far too often employers don’t hold up their end of the bargain or L&I denies a legitimate claim. Phillips Law Firm has a team of experienced advocates and workers compensation lawyers dedicated to getting you the workers compensation benefits that you deserve. Contact us today for a free case review and learn your legal rights.
What is Worker’s Comp in Washington State?
- Injury Compensation – Workers can generally to provisionally receive 60% of their income during their recovery period within 14 days of their application.
- Medical Benefits – Medical benefits will be authorized for approved curative treatment of work related injuries and/or illnesses.
- Death Benefits – This is a lump sum for burial expenses, partial medical costs, and 60% of the deceased’s income that increases incrementally by the number of children.
- Permanent Disability – A permanent disability such as paralysis or multi-limb amputation may entitle the injured worker to pension benefits.
- Temporary Disability – The worker receives benefits until they can return to work in either a full or partial capacity.
- Change of Condition – The injured worker’s condition regresses, requiring an adjustment in benefits or a switch from temporary disability to permanent disability.
- Vocational Rehabilitation – Approximately $17,000 is set aside for worker retraining if the person is no longer able to perform their job of injury, other work they have performed in the past, or work using skills developed in past work.
- Multiple Injury Compensation – Multiple injury compensation addressed per injury and compensated accordingly.
What can go wrong with my claim?
During the claim process a number of different people will be involved, each who have a different interest and perspective on the matter. This can range from L&I administrators, claim managers, doctors, lawyers, insurance companies and even employers. Unfortunately this can be a recipe for disaster. Miscommunication, lost documents, claim managers being shuffled, conflicts of interest, or employers protesting the claim are just some examples of what can go wrong. The results can be devastating like claims being closed too early, treatment cut off before healing is complete and loss of monetary benefits. We always recommended consulting with a law firm as early in the process as possible. If for what ever reason you receive an unfavorable decision and have not employed an attorney, there may still be legal action that can be taken.
- Protest – If you have received an unfavorable decision from the Department of Labor and Industries regarding your state industrial insurance claim and you would like to dispute it, you only have 60 days from the date you received the order to file a protest. A protest asks the Department of Labor and Industries to reconsider the order that was issued. In this instance, it is important to consult with an attorney experienced in worker’s compensation law so that you can put forward the best possible protest.
- Appeals – If you have received a second unfavorable decision from the Department of Labor and Industries after your initial protest, you only have 60 days from the date you received the order to file an appeal. Appeals must be submitted to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals. If you find yourself in this situation, it is very important to consult with an attorney experienced in worker’s compensation appeals.
- Employer and Retrospective Rating Group Protest and Appeals – Employers and Retrospective Rating Groups have the legal right to Protest and Appeal decisions that are unfavorable to them. In such cases, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney to best protect your interests.
Please do not wait until it is too late and if you do, don’t hesitate to call us for a free case evaluation. There may still be help available.
Get Started With Your Free Workers Compensation Case Evaluation
Our workers compensation lawyers and experienced legal team are dedicated to getting you the justice and compensation that you deserve. Call Phillips Law Firm at 1-800-708-6000. We are standing by 24/7, waiting to assist. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.
Workers Compensation FAQ’s
There are some very rare circumstances under which you can pursue a claim against your employer for an injury on the job, however, 99% of the time you are not able to pursue a claim against your employer for your job related injury. Washington State has provided an alternative system for an employee to be compensated for an on the job injury and that is through the worker’s compensation program which is managed by Washington State Labor and Industries.
When to hire an attorney is a question only you can answer. Our advice would be to get an attorney involved early on in the process. Claim managers may be friendly and nice, but make no mistake, they are not on your side. Once decisions are made and orders are handed down, options become limited. Do not wait until it is too late, get an experience attorney on your side as soon as possible.
An employer cannot terminate you or take any adverse employment action against you for filing a worker’s compensation claim. However, an employer does need to be able to carry on with their business. If you are going to be out an extended period of time or require special accommodations, the employer may have to let you go or move you to another position.
If you are going to miss an extended period of time from work or can only perform light duty work that your employer cannot accommodate, you may be eligible for time loss compensation. Time loss compensation will begin within 14 days of receiving notice from your doctor that you are off work, however, you will not be compensated for the first three days that you miss as this is considered a waiting period. Although you may receive time loss income as part of your claim, you will not receive the full amount you made at your job. Instead, you will receive a portion of your wages which is generally between 60 – 75%.
Settlements (in the terms most people think) do not really exist in worker’s compensation claims. If your injury is so severe that you are deemed permanently partially disabled (the part of your body injured will never fully get better) or it is determined that you will never be able to work again, you may be entitled to an award. This award may take form as a one time lump sum payment in the case of a permanent partial disability award, or a lifetime pension award in the case of someone who will never be able to return to work.