Workers Compensation in Seattle, WA

You aren’t alone if you ask “How does workers comp work?” Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by Washington state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Seattle, WA workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Seattle, Washington?

An economic summary of the Greater Seattle area from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics shows that almost 400,000 people work in transportation, trade, and utilities. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, they had an incident injury rate of 4.1 for every 100 workers. If the averages apply to the city, roughly 16,400 individuals who rely on this industry alone for their paycheck have to apply for workers’ compensation annually.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Seattle, Washington?

Unfortunately, going through the process of applying for workers’ compensation begins with getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to your problems are especially crucial. For example, the injury had to occur during your regular work duties. While an event that happens during your lunch break wouldn’t apply, getting into a car accident while running an errand for your boss would qualify for a claim. 

Businesses in Seattle have a unique requirement to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance through the state government. Any organization that employs one or more people has to carry a policy with only a handful of exceptions. To calculate your payments, the state takes 60% to 75% of your average pay and provides that amount in weekly installments. Your medical bills related to the injury or illness are covered, and vocational rehabilitation services are available if needed.

For example, say your supervisor asked you to drop something off on your lunch break. While running this errand you then get in a car accident on your way to the destination. Any resulting injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you are on your lunch break, performing no such task when you get in an accident, it does not qualify for a claim.

The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Seattle, WA are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.

Get Medical Attention

After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay seeking help from a Seattle, WA healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process. Having a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occured is the first step in the process. Your employer cannot file a claim with their insurance carrier without this information.

When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is either the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.

File a First Report of Injury

The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.

Employers in Seattle have to comply with mandatory reporting requirements from the state for work-related illness or injuries. If an employee is hospitalized, an organization has to notify the state within eight hours of the event. For cases that involve amputations or the loss of an eye, the Department of Labor & Industries must receive an Employer’s Report of Accident within 24 hours. With those times in mind, the statute of limitations in the State of Washington is only one year from the date of the incident.

Timeline and Other Information

Anyone who files a workers’ compensation claim in Seattle has to wait a minimum of three days before receiving payments. Or medical reimbursements. You still receive compensation for that time if your recovery takes longer than two weeks. Temporary disability benefits last as long as your doctor feels you cannot return to your job. However, if you’re dealing with a partial or total disability that will stay with you for the rest of your life, you may file for permanent benefits with the state.

Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point. Either about the incident and to any possible witnesses to the event. In the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation into your claim continues.

Why You Should Hire a Seattle, Washington Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Seattle, Washington, in others, it may be more difficult. Your employer might ask if you suffer an injury on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Seattle workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Seattle, Washington

If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Seattle, WA you need to find the right people to help. Since the workers’ compensation claims process can have pitfalls, you should consider getting a local attorney who knows how to avoid them. 

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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