Boeing is one of the largest employers in the country. According to data from the Economic Development Council of Seattle & King County, there are currently more than 80,000 Boeing workers in the state of Washington alone. As a global leader in the aerospace industry, Boeing employs a wide range of skilled professionals, from welders and mechanics to engineers and analysts.
Unfortunately, workplace injuries are a major issue at every company. If you are a Boeing employee who was hurt while on the job, whether you were working in manufacturing or in the office, you need to know how to protect your legal rights
At The Walthew Law Firm, our experienced Seattle workers’ compensation lawyers are proud to be committed advocates for employees throughout the state of Washington. Here, we highlight the five most important steps that injured Boeing workers need to take after a job-related accident.
- Report Your Injury & File Your Claim Within the Deadline
Under Washington’s workers’ compensation regulations, both employers and employees have certain basic legal obligations. Injured workers must report their accident to their employer (usually your supervisor).
Reporting your injury is also the first step in filing a worker’s compensation claim at a self-insured employer like Boeing. Once you report your injury, your supervisor (or perhaps a human resources worker or another representative) will provide you with a worker’s compensation claim form. If one isn’t provided, simply ask. Fill out the form and return it to your supervisor (or whomever your supervisor directs you to). This will begin your claim. However, as noted below, you will also need to see a medical provider, who will fill out a second form and send it in.
- You Should Seek Immediate Medical Attention
It is critical that you seek medical care and let your provider know you were injured on the job. First and foremost, injured workers should see a doctor for their own health and well-being. Second, a medical provider must complete and send in a form to Boeing as part of the claim filing process. You claim will not be allowed without medical support.
A medical provider will help document your injuries and notify Boeing about what benefits are appropriate for you. This could save you time and trouble if you do it as soon as you reasonably can.
For many benefits, a medical provider’s opinion and certification will be required before appropriate benefits will be paid, which is another important reason to begin treatment.
- File your Claim Within the Deadline
All your paperwork must be properly completed and submitted before the relevant deadline. For job-related injuries, Boeing workers generally have one year to file their claim. For occupational diseases, Boeing workers generally have two years from the date a physician tells them in writing that they have an occupational disease and that they may file a claim for it. If you do not file within the appropriate deadline, your claim will be forever barred. The sooner you file your workers’ compensation claim, the better your chances for a successful result.
- You Have the Right to Protest a Claim Denial
Ideally, your workers’ compensation benefits will be paid in full soon after you submit your initial workers’ compensation claim. Unfortunately, that is not how the system always works. If your Boeing work injury claim is denied, you have the right to file a protest. Please do not let an unfavorable workers’ compensation decision become final and binding without filing a protest. In general, you have 60 days from the date the legal order is received to protest an adverse finding. Some orders have a shorter deadline, so read each order as soon as you get it and check the deadline. Your protest must be filed in writing and submitted before the deadline expires.
- You Should Speak to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Full and fair workers’ compensation benefits can sometimes be difficult to recover. If you were hurt on the job while working at Boeing, and your work injury claim was denied, it is crucial that you seek professional legal guidance. Your local attorney will be able to conduct a detailed review of your claim to determine what action must be taken to protect your rights. You may still be eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
At The Walthew Law Firm, our legal team is committed to fighting for the rights and interests of injured workers. If you or your family member was injured while working at Boeing, we can help. For a free consultation, whether your claim has been allowed or denied, please contact our law firm today. We have offices in Seattle and Everett, and we represent Boeing workers throughout Washington.