If you were injured while working – whether on a job site or driving between sites – you are entitled to workers’ compensation. Benefits, paid through Washington state’s Department of Labor & Industries, include medical treatment, time loss compensation, and vocational and retraining services when needed. That sounds simple. However, the reality is that disputes arise with L&I and employers regarding allowance of claims; what treatment is needed, and for how long. They do not always compute time loss correctly. This is when you need a lawyer.
Things you should know
- Industrial injuries, occupational diseases and work-related deaths are covered by L&I. Washington workers’ comp is no fault. A worker need not prove who or what caused the injury; only that the injury resulted from work.
- An industrial injury is a sudden, traumatic event that results in physical and/or mental harm. This can range from a cut to a traumatic brain injury. Special benefits are paid if a worker dies because of a workplace injury.
- If the injury was caused by the negligence of a third party – such as contractor or other driver – you may be able to obtain additional benefits outside the L&I system.
- Some work-related conditions come on over time as result of the physical demands of a particular job, such as prolonged heavy lifting, climbing, or maintaining unusual postures. These are called occupational diseases. L&I provides the same benefits for occupational diseases as it does for industrial injuries.
- A medical provider must certify to L&I that your injury or disease was probably caused by your work.