Bellevue Workers' Compensation Lawyer for Work Injuries in Washington State
If you've been hurt at work, it's crucial to have a seasoned Bellevue workers' compensation attorney by your side. At Lehmbecker Law, we navigate the complexities of workman’s comp in Washington state. We are committed to fighting for your rights after an on-the-job injury.
We understand the financial and emotional toll a work injury can take, and we're here to alleviate that stress. With our law firm, you get more than legal advice; you get a partner in your journey to recovery.
How Does Workers’ Comp Work in Washington State?
The workers' compensation system in Washington is a form of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to injured workers.
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) oversees the system, ensuring employees who are injured or fall ill on the job receive appropriate compensation.
Most employers in the state are required by workers' compensation law to provide coverage through L&I, although exceptions exist for self-insured employers or those in larger self-insurance programs. Notably, Washington stands out by offering time-loss benefits to employees who miss work due to exposure to infectious diseases, setting it apart from other states.
Types and Causes of Workers’ Compensation Injuries
Workers' compensation injuries can occur in any job and to any class of worker. However, some causes and types of injury are more common:
- Heatstroke or overexertion: Heat-related illnesses due to prolonged exposure or physical strain in hot environments;
- Collapses of buildings or other infrastructure: Injuries resulting from structural failures or collapses at construction sites or similar locations;
- Injuries related to equipment: Harm caused by malfunctioning machinery, improper tool use, or lack of safety precautions;
- Respiratory diseases: Occupational exposure to harmful substances, such as asbestos or chemicals, causing respiratory conditions;
- Slips and falls: Accidents due to wet or slippery surfaces, uneven flooring, or inadequate safety measures;
- Explosions or fire-related injuries: Burns, blast injuries, or smoke inhalation caused by explosions or workplace fires;
- Automobile accidents: Injuries resulting from vehicle collisions during work-related activities or transportation;
- Loss of sight or hearing: Vision or hearing impairments caused by workplace accidents or exposure to hazardous conditions.
Sadly, some accidents or illnesses occurring in the workplace may lead to not just an injury but the loss of an employee's life.
How Much Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Washington State?
The cost of workers' compensation insurance in Washington state can vary widely depending on several factors, including the nature of your business and the potential risks associated with your specific industry.
Dangerous industries like construction or logging typically pay higher rates due to the increased likelihood of on-the-job injuries. Additionally, a company's claim history can significantly influence the cost.
While it's hard to give an exact figure without knowing these specifics, L&I provides a guide with average rates for various industries. Unless a worker is self-employed, their company will pay these insurance premiums.
Benefits Available Through Washington State Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers' compensation benefits aim to support an injured worker who is recovering from a workplace injury or illness. The benefits available through a workers' compensation claim in Washington state may include:
- Medical treatment: Coverage for necessary medical expenses and medical bills to treat the work-related injury or illness;
- Time-loss compensation: Lost wages replacement benefits for the time the worker is unable to work due to injury or illness;
- Vocational services: Assistance in finding suitable alternative employment if the worker is unable to return to their previous job;
- Permanent partial disability: Compensation for permanent impairment resulting from work-related injury or illness;
- Loss of earning power: Benefits to offset reduced earning capacity due to injury or illness;
- Pension or survivor benefits: Financial support for workers with severe disabilities or for the families of workers who have lost their lives due to work-related incidents.
The number of benefits will depend on your average weekly wage. For example, suppose that you make $1,000 per week and are eligible for time-loss benefits. You can expect to receive between $600 and $750 (60% to 75% of your average weekly wage) every week until you are able to return to work. The exact percentage will be based on how many dependents you have.
Your employer might offer you light duty or transitional work that accommodates your injuries. If you decline this work, you likely won't be eligible for time-loss or loss of earning power benefits.
Social Security Disability Benefits While Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits
If you are receiving workers' compensation benefits, you may still be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits in certain circumstances. However, there are some important factors to consider. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has specific rules regarding the coordination of workers' compensation and disability benefits.
Generally, if the combined amount of workers' compensation and Social Security disability benefits exceeds 80% of your average current earnings before the disability, your Social Security benefits may be reduced.
This is known as the "offset" provision. The goal of the provision is to prevent individuals from receiving more than their average pre-disability income. The offset provision applies to both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
It's important to note that the rules and calculations for the offset can be complex, and it's advisable to consult with an attorney for detailed information regarding your specific situation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Work Injury Claim in Bellevue, WA?
In Washington state, the statute of limitations for a workplace injury is typically one year from the date of the injury or the date the worker became aware of an occupational illness. It is important to file a workers' compensation claim within this time frame to preserve your rights to benefits. Failing to meet the statute of limitations may result in a denial of your claim.
However, certain exceptions and extensions may apply, so it is advisable to consult with an attorney or the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries for specific guidance regarding your case.
Why Hire an L&I Attorney for Your On-the-Job Injury Case?
Hiring an L&I attorney can be crucial when dealing with workers' compensation claims. Workplace injury attorneys who specialize in this area possess in-depth knowledge of the complex laws and regulations surrounding L&I cases.
Your lawyer can guide you through the legal proceedings, help gather evidence, ensure accurate documentation, and advocate on your behalf. A workers' compensation attorney can navigate disputes or denials, strengthen a case for receiving fair compensation, and protect injured workers' rights.
Their legal skill and experience might significantly improve your chances of reaching maximum medical improvement through access to medical care and alleviate the stress associated with handling legal matters on your own.
Why Choose Our Bellevue Workers’ Comp Lawyers?
Choosing the Bellevue workers’ compensation attorneys at Lehmbecker Law ensures injured workers receive the highest quality legal representation.
We provide personalized attention to each personal injury claim, as we understand that every situation is unique. Our commitment to integrity and professionalism sets us apart, making our law firm the right choice. We offer:
Our law firm is dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured workers, with a history of successful outcomes in workers' compensation and personal injury cases.
Get Trusted Work Injury Representation in Bellevue, WA
Contact our experienced work injury attorneys in Bellevue, Washington, for trusted legal representation and a free consultation.
Get Experienced Representation for Bellevue Labor & Industries Claims
Navigate the complex Washington state workers' compensation legal landscape with experienced representation on your side. If you are an injured employee who needs help understanding your rights, schedule a free consultation today with a workers' comp lawyer in Bellevue, WA.
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What will it cost me to hire a workers’ compensation attorney?
The cost of hiring a workers' compensation attorney is typically based on a contingency fee arrangement. This means that the attorney's fees are a percentage of the benefits you receive, and if you don't receive monetary benefits or negotiate a settlement, you generally won't owe attorney fees.
Do you need workers’ comp if you are self-employed?
In Washington state, self-employed individuals have the option to purchase workers' compensation coverage for themselves. While it is not mandatory, having this coverage can provide important benefits and protections in case of work-related injuries or illnesses.
What’s the difference between L&I And self-insured workers’ compensation In Washington state?
Labor and Industries (L&I) is the state agency responsible for administering workers' compensation benefits in Washington. L&I covers most employers in the state. Self-insured workers' compensation, on the other hand, refers to employers who meet specific requirements and are granted the authority to self-insure their workers' compensation claims, assuming the financial responsibility themselves instead of purchasing coverage through L&I.