A Seattle workers’ compensation attorney can help you recover financially from your employer. On-the-job injuries happen and when they do they can be devastating, and lead to many months, years, or even a lifetime of recovery. Depending on the injury you may never be able to return to work again. You may be asking yourself how you’re going to pay for, potentially, a lifetime of recovery.
A Seattle workers’ compensation attorney can help you defend against these unfair, self-insurer tactics.
The claim administrator is separate from your employer and they will do everything they can to reduce your settlement amount. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you with the following:
A workers’ compensation lawyer in Seattle has experience navigating all legal aspects of on-the-job injuries in Washington. If you’ve been injured while at work or performing work-related tasks off of the job site, you should hire a workers’ compensation attorney immediately after your injury to help accomplish the outcome you’re seeking from a claim. Instead of going it alone, you should always hire an attorney, especially under the following circumstances:
When you’ve been injured while doing your job, you deserve fair representation supporting your rights and best interests throughout the claims process.
Workers’ compensation benefits provide reasonable medical benefits to address and treat your injury without deductibles or copayments. It provides travel benefits if your treatment requires traveling to hospitals or clinics. You can also expect vocational training benefits if your injury requires you to take a new job or new position within your company.
Workers’ compensation allows for time-loss benefits for temporary disability related to your work injury. Payments for time lost at work begin on the 4th day after the work injury and continue until you are able to return to work at full capacity. Depending on your number of dependents, you’ll receive 60% to 75% of your pay based on your average monthly gross income. This amount does have caps based on statewide average monthly wages for the year
With a current maximum of $7,674 per month and a minimum of $959 per month.
Worker’s compensation also provides coverage for partial wage loss for 80% of the difference in pay, with the same maximum and minimum caps, if you’re able to return to work but not at full capacity or in a lower-paying position.
If your injury leaves you with a permanent disability, you’ll receive a monetary award for your impairment in an amount based on the severity of your disability. This may be a lump sum or spread over time in monthly payments for large amounts. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries offers a claims calculator tool you can use to determine how much your injury is worth.
An injury that threatens your livelihood can be alarming. Many employees who are hurt on the job wonder if they should file a personal injury lawsuit or a workers’ compensation claim. The difference between the two is the matter of fault and no fault. Washington is a no-fault state for workers’ compensation benefits so when you’re hurt on the job you are automatically entitled to benefits and you don’t need to prove your employer is at fault in the accident.
To file a personal injury claim, you’d have to prove that your employer was directly responsible for your injury through some type of negligence.
Workers’ compensation provides only economic damages for medical costs and lost wages while personal injury claims also pay damages for pain and suffering; however, you’d have to prove that your employer acted recklessly, or file against a manufacturer of a dangerous product or defective tool. You could also choose a personal injury lawsuit if a third party who doesn’t work for your employer caused the accident.
In some instances, a work-injury victim could benefit from filing a third-party insurance claim rather than worker’s compensation, since this type of claim allows compensation for pain and suffering and other intangible damages like disfigurement and loss of pleasure in life for severe injuries. Third-party claims aren’t filed against an employer but against a separate entity that caused your injury such as:
A third-party claim isn’t appropriate for every worksite injury but could be an option if your injury was caused by a third party related to your work site or job tasks.
Your workers’ compensation lawyer understands how to investigate all aspects of your claim and gather evidence such as:
A Seattle workers’ compensation attorney understands how this system works and how to manage your claim to maximize your compensation.
A Seattle workers’ compensation lawyer can help you advocate for all of these benefits and more.
Some victims of work injuries worry about retaliation from an employer if they file a workers’ compensation claim or wonder if it will negatively impact their work relationship with an employer. Washington law protects workers from retaliation attempts by their employers. If you feel your employer is harassing you because of your claim, you can file a discrimination lawsuit within 90 days of the violation of your rights.
Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries offers resources to employers such as incentives for finding light-duty work for injured employees and money-saving programs and opportunities.
There are two kinds of claims available under Washington’s Worker’s Compensation Law: state-funded and self-insured claims.
The benefits that a state-funded and a self-insured funded workers’ compensation provide are essentially the same but the difference lies in how the claims process is managed. A self-insured workers’ compensation claim is more privileged and handled by a personal injury attorney.
This means that documents and communications about your claim can be withheld due to “attorney-client privilege.” Additionally, employers self-insure to save money and in order to save money, they will suppress claims, refuse to pay benefits, slash benefits, delay benefits, and unfairly surveil you.
Injuries can occur in any job position, even in an office. However, some job positions come with greater risks, such as construction and mechanic work. Common work site injuries in Seattle worker’s compensation claims include:
When an accident causes significant or life-altering injuries, a worker’s compensation lawyer can strategize the best way forward to maximize the compensation your recover from your damages such as:
IME is a medical evaluation to determine the status of your injury. An IME can be requested by a doctor, a self-insured employer, or the state. An IME is typically used to close your claim or reduce benefits. A work injury attorney can help you navigate the IME process if your employer or the state-funded workers’ compensation insurance requests one.
We have decades of experience in accident litigation, and we win. We will advocate for you on your behalf and work as hard as we can to get the settlement you deserve. The last thing you should worry about is fighting with the claims manager for the benefits you’re entitled to under the law. Call us today at (206) 489-5140 for a free case consultation. Our workers’ comp attorneys will review your case and chart a path to recovery.
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