When a worker is injured in the course of employment, in the State of Washington, the Department of Labor and Industries (or the self-insured employer) is responsible for medical care, time loss payments and a number of other benefits resulting from injury. Procuring these essential benefits is easier said than done. The employer may fight the claim. The Department may reject the claim or refuse benefits. Injured Bellevue workers may need legal assistance. The compassionate attorneys of The Walthew Law Firm have helped countless injured workers in our more than 90 years of service to the Bellevue area.
Excuses for Denying Benefits
While many workers’ compensation claims are eventually allowed, in 2016 alone more than 21,000 claims were denied, according to the Washington State Department of Labor and Statistics. Sadly, it is all too common for a worker who has been injured to be denied benefits. Sometimes the mistake is merely an administrative error, such as a flaw in the paperwork, which claims managers hawkishly watch for. These paperwork issues can result in problems for those who need medical care immediately, and are the perfect excuse for a delay in benefits. The Walthew Law Firm will ensure that everything is submitted correctly and on time.
Employers may stand in the way of benefits with false arguments, such as:
- You were intoxicated during the accident;
- The injury occurred away from work;
- The injury is not severe and does not warrant medical attention or time loss benefits; and
- The injury is preexisting.
Workers’ Compensation Video
Workers’ Compensation is a No-Fault System
Workers’ compensation in Washington state is a no fault system. An injured worker is covered regardless of whether the injury was caused by the worker, a fellow employee, a third party or through no ones fault. Typically, you cannot sue your employer. In exchange, you do not have to prove your employer caused the injury through negligence in order to receive benefits. Benefits are restricted compared to other types of injuries.
Third Party Actions
If a third party caused your injuries, you may immediately receive workers’ compensation benefits while pursuing a lawsuit or claim against the negligent party. You typically cannot sue a fellow employee or your employer, but you can bring an action against a negligent third party, such as a negligent driver if you were involved in an auto accident at work, or against a construction company that negligently failed to maintain a safe job site. While third party actions take time, you are able to receive workers’ compensation benefits while waiting for the third party action to resolve. The Department of Labor and Industries (or the self-insured employer) is entitled to reimbursement for some of the workers’ compensation expenses when the third party action resolves. The attorneys at The Walthew Law Firm can help you understand this process and ensure you are fully compensated for your damages.
The Types of Benefits You May Receive through Washington state workers’ compensation.
Benefits under workers’ compensation may include:
- Medical treatment related to the injury;
- Time loss benefits for the period you are unable to work due to the injury;
- Loss of earning power if temporarily working for less pay due to the injury;
- Vocational training;
- Permanent partial disability should the injury result in permanent impairment;
- Pension benefits if totally and permanently disabled as a result of the injury; and
- Structured settlements for workers over 50 years old.
Call a Bellevue Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Whether you were injured on the job in an accident or through cumulative trauma, the experienced Bellevue workers’ compensation lawyers with The Walthew Law Firm will exhaust all avenues in pursuit of the benefits that you deserve. We encourage you to call today to schedule a consultation.
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