What Happens At Trial?
At trial, the attorneys for each side present evidence and arguments and the judge or jury decides the unresolved issues. Once the judge or jury has reached a decision, the judge will order that Judgment be entered for the side who wins.
What Should I Expect If There Is A Lawsuit?
It is likely that your personal injury claim will reach a negotiated settlement, so a lawsuit is never filed. If the case cannot be resolved, however, you have the option of filing a lawsuit and your attorney will explain the steps in the legal process. This is what happens when you file a lawsuit: Your […]
What Financial Compensation Can I Recover In A Personal Injury Claim?
Collision victims are entitled to recover monetary damages for all losses and expenses suffered from the collision. Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, damages may include recovery for any of the following: Disfigurement Emotional Trauma Lost Wages, Including Overtime Medical bills Mental Disability Pain and Suffering Physical Disability Property Damage
How Do I Handle My Medical Needs During The Personal Injury Claims Process?
We work with you on your case, we will contact the insurance companies and determine what coverage and benefits are available to you. This may also involve working with Medicare, L&I, DSHS and other agencies to be sure that you continue to receive appropriate payments. Once all available insurance coverages and other benefits have been […]
What Should I Do After A Car Collision?
When personal injury strikes, there are a number of things you should and shouldn’t do to protect your rights. You want to be sure you are covered and compensated for all the damages, both personal and emotional, that you have suffered. Most importantly, you should follow these key rules: Be careful what you say to […]
What Is Personal Injury?
Personal Injury is any physical or mental injury to a person that results from another person’s careless or harmful act. Personal injury can occur in a wide variety of ways. The following are some of the most common: Animal Attacks Car Collisions Insurance Bad Faith Insurance Fair Claims Act violations Slip and Fall Accidents/Premise Liability
What is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee is an industry standard fee that is applied to personal injury cases and is dependent upon the successful resolution of your case. A contingency fee is a percentage of the monetary recovery obtained by an attorney on a client’s behalf and is only paid if and when an attorney is successful in obtaining monetary recovery, whether through settlement or litigation. The industry-standard contingency fee is about one-third of the awarded settlement.
How do I know if I am covered by workers’ compensation insurance?
Workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory and your employer is required to pay for it. Even if the employer says you are not covered, or if the employer hasn’t been paying for the insurance, you are still covered and you should file anyway. You don’t have to be a citizen. Documentation of US citizenship is not required. If anyone asks for proof of US citizenship you may […]
I was injured on the job. What should I do now?
Here are the basics: If you are injured at work, you should get medical help, file a claim and tell your employer ASAP. Tell the first medical provider you see that you were injured on the job and they will file the L&I paperwork. Make sure your L&I claim form has the date, description of injury and your status (single, married, # of kids) accurately reported. You can also file online at FastFile. Tell […]
My job caused an injury over time. Is that covered?
Yes. If the type of work you do caused an injury, or aggravated a preexisting condition, it is called an occupational disease and it is covered by workers’ compensation even if you didn’t have an accident. A repetitive motion that causes injury is a common occupational disease. See a doctor and ask them to file a claim for an occupational disease. The first doctor’s visit is always paid for by […]
My previous work injury has gotten worse. Can I file for workers’ compensation?
Yes. If you had a new accident at work that made a pre-existing injury worse, you can file a new industrial injury claim. However, if your old LNI injury is getting worse and you need medical care, you can also file to reopen your old case. Because these cases can be tricky, you should seek advice from an attorney before filing or reopening a claim
How do I file a claim for workers’ compensation?
The first medical provider you see will file the claim paperwork with L&I if you tell them you were injured on the job. You can also file online at FastFile. Make sure to tell your provider in detail how you were injured. Report to him every injury, or aggravation of previous injuries, caused by the accident. If it hurts or feels different, report it to your medical provider. Getting conditions added […]
When should I hire an attorney?
You can hire any attorney at anytime after being injured at work. Often people wait too long to call an attorney and as a result, they waive their rights and forfeit benefits that they were owed. Some of the warning signs that your claim may be headed for trouble are: being scheduled for an independent medical exam (IME); being assigned to a vocational rehabilitation […]
Can I sue my employer for an unsafe workplace?
Very rarely and only under very unusual circumstances. Most often you cannot sue your employer. In return for “sure and certain benefits”, the laws in Washington prevent you from suing your employer. You are only entitled to the benefits from workers’ compensation. Therefore, it is important to ensure you receive all the available benefits. However, if a third party, someone who does not work for your employer, caused the accident, you may be entitled […]
Can I be fired for being injured on the job?
You cannot be fired in retaliation for being injured on the job or filing a Workers’ compensation claim. This does not mean your employer can’t terminate you after you file a claim. Washington is an “at will” state which means the employer can terminate you without cause at any time. If you suspect you are being retaliated against, you have the right to request a written statement from your employer explaining why you were terminated. Send it to the employer by certified mail […]
What benefits will I get from workers’ compensation?
You are entitled to all medical treatment for the injuries caused by the accident. You are entitled to a portion of your lost wages if you are unable to return to work or can only return at a lower wage while you are receiving medical care. You are entitled to help returning to work, including retraining if necessary, if the doctor says […]
Will I get a settlement for my injury?
You may be entitled to a Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) award if your injury causes permanent impairment. This is a determination made by a medical doctor. The Department will want an IME doctor to decide but your doctor is entitled to do this for you. Talk to your attending provider about a rating by her or giving you a referral to another doctor instead of an IME.
Will I get paid if I can’t work?
Yes. If your doctor restricts you from working or limits you to light duty work, you are eligible to receive a portion of your lost wages paid by L&I every two weeks. Even if you return to work at a light duty job, but are making less money than you were, you may be eligible for supplemental lost wage payments called Loss of Earning Power.
Are all my medical bills paid by workers’ compensation?
Yes. All medical bills for your allowed conditions are paid by workers’ compensation. Your medical provider is prohibited by law from billing you for any portion of the cost for authorized treatment of your allowed conditions. Similarly, if part of your medical bill is paid by LNI, then your doctor cannot ask you to pay the remaining portion of your bill.
My employer told me they are self-insured. Is that workers’ compensation?
Yes. Some employers insure their own workers, and manage the benefits, rather than use the State insurance through L&I. The same rules and benefits apply but that does not always mean self-insured workers are treated the same as L&I insured workers. Don’t hesitate to seek help if your claim is self-insured. You have the same legal rights as a state insured claim.
My boss told me not to file a claim and he’ll pay the medical. Is that workers’ compensation?
No. That is not workers’ compensation and it is against workers’ compensation law. Any attempt by your employer to convince you not to file a claim is called claim suppression. It should be ignored and you should always file a claim if you are injured at work and treatment is needed. If you are afraid of retaliation or discrimination by your employer, you can file a claim suppression complaint by completing this form Claim Suppression […]
Can I choose my own doctor when I am injured on the job?
Yes. In all cases, you have the sole right to choose your doctor. Your doctor is your biggest advocate in workers’ compensation. One of the biggest mistakes you can make early in your claim is letting your employer choose the doctor you see for your workplace injury. If you wish, you can choose your primary care provider or a local emergency room or urgent care facility for your first […]
Will I get my old job back when my claim closes?
There is no guarantee that you will be able to return to your job. The employer is not required to save your job for you. Whether you can return to your job will depend on how well you recover from your injury and whether the employer still has the job available. Your doctor will decide whether you can do your old job. Be clear […]
How do I know I’m receiving the right amount of money every two weeks?
There is not a simple answer to that question. There have been many legal cases regarding the calculation of time-loss compensation. Check your hourly wage and hours worked to see if they are correct. You are also entitled to any regular overtime hours you work, but only at your straight rate, as well as an amount for your employer’s contribution to your healthcare benefits. This is your gross wage rate. You will receive 60% of your gross […]
Will I be forced to take a low paying light duty job?
While your claim is open, any light duty job which pays more than 5% less than your regular job at the time of injury will make you eligible for supplemental payments from L&I called Loss of Earning Power. Refusing to accept a valid light duty job will result in the termination of your time-loss compensation. To be valid a job offer it must be described […]
Do I have to go to an IME?
You are required to attend an IME scheduled by L&I or the self-insured employer unless you have “good cause” not to attend. Failure to attend with good cause can result in significant penalties including loss of benefits. If you cannot attend and you give at least 5 working days notice to L&I then they cannot charge […]
Why is a vocational counselor calling me?
Vocational rehabilitation counselors (VRC) are “independent” contractors hired by L&I to assist with determining if you can work and to identify, and remove, any return-to-work barriers. You must cooperate with the VRC or risk suspension of benefits for being non-cooperative. Keep in mind, they are responsible to L&I and not to you. Even though they […]
If I am retrained, do I get the same wage?
The only purpose of retraining is to make you employable. The law does not guarantee you will earn the same wage as your previous job. It is up to you to choose the retraining goal. The vocational counselor will provide guidance as to what is currently in demand and what the pay ranges are for different jobs.
I received a notice that my claim closed. What should I do now?
If you feel your workers’ compensation claim has been closed prematurely or wrongly you have the legal right to protest the closing order. This must be done in writing to L&I within 60 days of receiving the order. If you do not protest the order within 60 days it becomes final and binding.