Workers Compensation in Spokane, 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 Spokane, WA workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Spokane, Washington?

The U.S. Bureau of Statistics says 51,000 individuals worked in education and health services in Spokane in 2020. Unfortunately, 4.6 out of every 100 reported work-related incidents to the Department of Labor in 2019. Even if locals experienced injuries or illnesses at the same rate as the rest of the state, over 23,400 people in Spokane likely needed workers’ compensation benefits.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Spokane, 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. 

Employers in Spokane must purchase workers’ compensation insurance through the state government. A handful of exemptions exist under the law, but generally, an organization with one or more employees must carry a policy. After your claim is approved, the state calculates 60% to 75% of your salary and pays that in weekly installments. Medical coverage comes standard, and you can elect to take advantage of vocational rehabilitation services if desired.

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 Spokane, 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 Spokane, 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.

You have one year to file for workers’ compensation in Spokane after a workplace injury or illness. While that’s the statute of limitations, your best legal position is to notify your employer immediately after finding medical attention. Organizations have a responsibility to file reports to the state in a timely manner for work-related illnesses or injuries. If the event led to a hospitalization, companies have to file an Employer’s Report of Accident within eight hours of notification. By law, the loss of a limb or eye has a 24-hour time limit.

Timeline and Other Information

You will have to wait for the mandatory three-day waiting period before collecting lost wages or other benefits. If your illness or injury keeps you away from work longer than two weeks, you receive reimbursement for that time in a subsequent payment. You can receive temporary disability as long as a doctor says that you’re not ready to return to work. Since the state runs a monopoly on workers’ compensation, everything works according to the state’s timeline.

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 about the incident and 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 Spokane, Washington Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

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

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Spokane, Washington

If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Spokane, 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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