Tacoma, WA Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Incorporated in 1874, Tacoma is the third-largest city in Washington, located off the southern tip of Puget Sound in Western Washington. Tacoma lies 26 miles east of Seattle—the peak of Mount Rainier is roughly 40 miles to the southeast, dominating the skyline. European-Americans settled in the Tacoma area, constructing the first sawmill in 1852. The railroad that came to Tacoma in the late 1800s created Tacoma’s nickname, “City of Destiny,” as Tacoma was the final stop, linking the railway with shipping vessels. Today, Tacoma is the sixth-largest shipping port in North America.
In 1990, Money Magazine voted Tacoma the fourth-best place to live in the United States. In 1995, Entrepreneur Magazine voted Tacoma the Top Mid-Sized City for Small Businesses, and in 2004, Tacoma was voted the Most Livable Region by Partners for Livable Communities. As a city that is seeing an expansion of businesses, Tacoma residents may suffer work injuries that require them to file a workers’ compensation claim. Having an experienced Tacoma workers’ compensation attorney by your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim.
Why Should You Choose a Tacoma Workers’ Compensation Attorney from Palace Law?
It can be more complex than you might think to interpret Washington’s workers’ compensation laws. The laws that govern workers’ compensation in Washington may change often and handling a claim on your own can be difficult. At Palace Law, we have helped thousands of injured workers be successful with their workers’ compensation claims. Not only is the Palace Law legal team available 24/7 we have many more reasons it could benefit you to hire Palace Law for your workers’ compensation claim.
- Palace Law has four lawyers that have tried more than 200 cases each
- Our firm has more than 1,500 positive reviews
- If you are too injured to travel, we can come to you
- We offer free legal forms and a free case evaluator – try out PatBot now!
- Palace Law offers fast, free workers’ compensation case assessments
- Even if you think you cannot afford a lawyer, talk to Palace Law—we make hiring a lawyer affordable and easy
Get Help Now: Please use our DIY FAST and FREE Workers’ Compensation Forms, Letters, and Case Assessment tool – PatBot, and learn what your case could be worth by using our calculator below:
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What are the Requirements for Workers’ Compensation in Washington?
Workers’ compensation requirements vary from state to state, as each individual state sets the requirements. In the state of Washington, all businesses with one or more full or part-time employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance must be purchased from the State Fund. Business Owners, Partners, Corporate Officers, LLC Members, and Sole Proprietors are excluded from workers’ compensation insurance under the statutes, but they may elect to be covered. The state of Washington has an online tool for verification of workers’ compensation coverage.
Companies that have employees that travel out of state for work could potentially require a policy for each of the states where the employees are located and working, however, in many cases, multiple states can be covered under your Washington policy. Policy premiums are generally based on a number of factors, including prior workers’ compensation claims, estimated payroll, class codes assigned to the business and employees, covered states, and prior policies. There are other exemptions to workers’ compensation requirements, including:
- Private homes that employ individuals to make repairs, garden, or do maintenance work
- Individuals that work in return for assistance from a charitable organization or religious organization
- Individuals hired to perform personal errands or chores that do not benefit the business, rather benefit the owner of the business
- Individuals that perform domestic work in private homes so long as two or more workers do not work more than 40 hours per week
- Any employees covered under federal law
- Children under the age of 18 employed by their parents
- Some musicians and entertainers
What is the Difference Between an Injury Claim and an Occupational Disease Claim?
An occupational disease occurs as a result of the workers’ employment. As an example, a shipyard worker exposed to asbestos who is diagnosed with mesothelioma could have an occupational disease claim. The occupational disease must be a condition or disease that is caused or aggravated—at least in part—by the specific work conditions of the employer. Occupational disease workers’ compensation claims are often rejected because there is insufficient information to provide a compelling argument for benefits.
It is important that you have written documentation regarding the onset and development of your symptoms, and that you accurately convey key details regarding why you can no longer meet the physical demands of your job due to your occupational disease. An injury claim occurs when you are injured on the job. You may have fallen on a slippery floor or suffered an injury from a machine used at your workplace. An injury occurs immediately, while an occupational disease can take months or years to develop.
What Benefits Might You Be Entitled to Receive for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Washington workers’ compensation generally covers medical and hospital benefits that arise from your workplace injury. This includes doctor visits, prescriptions, surgical costs, rehabilitation services, and certain other medical expenses. Your benefits may also cover some travel for medical appointments and procedures. Washington workers’ compensation benefits can also cover partial wage replacement if you are unable to work or have been delegated to light duty as a result of your injury.
You may also be eligible for job retraining and assistance finding a new job following your injury. While you are generally able to see a medical provider of your choice for emergency treatment immediately after your workplace injury, follow-up care must be through a Washington workers’ compensation authorized provider. Generally speaking, wage benefits are about two-thirds of your normal monthly salary. Washington workers’ compensation also pays for a partial or more permanent disability.
If, for example, an employee lost a finger in an accident at work, he or she might be paid a sum (Impairment Rating) for the loss of the finger for permanent disability as well as some temporary disability during the recuperation process. Workers’ compensation also pays the funeral expenses of an employee killed on the job, along with death benefits to the employee’s family.
Are There Any Circumstances in Which Workers’ Compensation Will Not Pay?
While fault for the accident generally does not factor into whether a worker is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, there are certain circumstances that could prohibit workers’ compensation benefits from being awarded, including:
- An accident caused by the employee’s drug or alcohol use
- Injuries resulting from violations of the law
- Any injury that is not connected to the job
- Violations of company policy
What Are Some Common Causes of Workers’ Compensation Injuries?
There are scores of ways workers could be injured on the job. Slip and fall accidents are a relatively common source of injury, thus workers’ compensation claims. Other common causes of Washington workers’ compensation claims include:
- Accidents on constructions sites
- Electrical accidents
- Chemical spill accidents
- Welding accidents
- Ladder and scaffolding accidents
- Occupational diseases
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Carpal tunnel injuries
What Should You Do Immediately Following Your Workplace Injury?
Your employee handbooks and/or human resource departments should have specific procedures for what to do after an on-the-job injury. If this is the case, you should follow the guidelines listed. Otherwise, you should notify your supervisor or HR department then go to a doctor or urgent care to be checked out. While you are at the doctor’s office you can file an accident report for your workplace injury or occupational disease.
Generally speaking, if your doctor certifies you were injured at work or have an occupational disease, your claim will likely be approved, however, if the doctor is unable to certify your injury or medical condition, your claim may be denied. If your claim is denied, you can protest the decision through the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.
Do You Really Need a Tacoma Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Not everyone that files a workers’ compensation claim will require an attorney, but interpreting the laws associated with Washington workers’ compensation can be complex. These laws tend to change frequently, requiring an attorney who keeps up with the changes. Further, if any of the following are true regarding your workers’ compensation claim, you would benefit from having a Tacoma workers’ compensation attorney in your corner:
- Your benefits are being denied or have been delayed
- You have a pre-existing condition
- Your employer is claiming you are not covered by Washington workers’ compensation
- You have been accused of WC fraud
- You are not sure which doctor to see
- Your symptoms have developed gradually, over time
- You have been asked to attend an independent medical exam
How a Tacoma Workers’ Compensation Attorney from Palace Law Can Help
At Palace Law, we are highly skilled in dealing with workers’ compensation claims. We have a full understanding of the process and know how to file an appeal that gets results. If you have suffered a work injury, or have an occupational disease, we can help you file your worker’s compensation claim and will answer all your questions in an easy-to-understand way. Contact Palace Law today for a free, comprehensive evaluation of your claim.