You may be familiar with workers’ compensation — insurance intended to ensure that employees hurt on the job receive good medical care and short-term disability wages.
However, there are specific things you need to know about filing workers’ comp claims; if you don't complete all the required steps, you may not receive all the benefits you’re entitled to.
Washington employees injured on the job must receive treatment from an employer-designated physician and fill out the L&I paperwork required for the claim. But you still may not receive the benefits you’re entitled to. A Washington workers’ comp attorney can help.
The vast majority of employees in Washington are covered by Washington State workers’ comp. Employers must provide coverage to all workers, including temporary and part-time employees. Undocumented workers are also eligible.
Not every type of workplace is covered by workers’ comp. Exceptions include:
There are also exceptions to workplace injuries covered by workers' compensation in Washington.
Also, if the event is considered an “act of God,” you won’t be covered.
Some industries have higher rates of workplace injuries due to the nature of the work involved, but anyone can get hurt at work or develop a medical condition due to the requirements of their job.
Common conditions and injuries that qualify for workers' compensation in WA include:
Although some people associate workers’ compensation with a catastrophic injury, the truth is any injury can be covered as long as it happened at work.
Your Washington claim of compensation can provide much-needed financial relief to workers whose families depend on their wages, including:
Dealing with workers’ comp is difficult, especially for people with little knowledge of Washington L&I laws or who are still recovering from their injuries. A skilled attorney can advise you on what benefits you’re eligible for and help you file or appeal workers' compensation claims.
Washington State’s Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) processes most workers' compensation claims in the state. For self-insured employers, however, the process is a little different.
Filing for workers’ comp in these cases involves the employer directly providing workers' compensation insurance benefits for employees, including sole proprietors with no employees.
All employers, regardless of insurance type, must follow state guidelines for workers' compensation benefits.
Filing a workers’ comp claim in Washington State starts with a medical evaluation.
Make sure to tell the doctor that you were injured on the job and that you would like them to submit your claim.
After this, the next steps for how to file a workers’ comp claim include:
Filing L&I claims in Washington State is the insured employee’s responsibility. Although the employer must also report workplace accidents and workers' compensation claims, it’s still up to you to ensure that all the right documentation is submitted.
The statute of limitations for filing workers' compensation in Washington State is one year from the date of the injury. If you suffered a work-related illness, though, you have two years from the date of diagnosis to file a workers' compensation claim.
Some workers' compensation cases involve the actions of a third party, such as a vendor or another driver. In these cases, the statute of limitations to file a claim is three years, under Washington personal injury claim statutes.
If you miss the filing deadline for your workers' comp claim, then you will not receive benefits.
The dollar amount for a claim for compensation is one of the biggest concerns for injured workers. The answer depends on a few factors. The L&I Department issues several benefits in Washington workers' compensation cases; if you disagree with the amount assigned to you, you must formally petition to change it.
A worker receives a percentage of wages based upon family status and number of dependents at the time of injury. A worker is entitled to 60% of their gross monthly wage. An additional 5% is added for a spouse and 2% for each dependent child, up to five children.
Once you file the L&I benefits claim, the department reviews it to determine whether you are eligible and what kind of workers' compensation insurance benefits you may be eligible to receive.
If you are still wondering, “How do I file an L&I claim in Washington State?” the Washington workers' compensation attorneys at Lehmbecker Law can help. We offer free consultations, so don’t delay — contact us today!
Yes, Washington workers' comp laws permit injured workers to choose their own doctor. However, you must choose a physician on the L&I Department’s approved physician list.
An injured worker can easily check the status of their claim on the Washington Department of Labor & Industries website. If your employer is with a self-insured administrator, you will need to call the self-insured claim manager assigned to your claim.
Fill out a Self-Insured Accident Report. You can get this from your company's HR department. Take the form to your medical provider, and tell them you are seeking treatment for a work-related injury. The doctor can also file the form online with your employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier.