Workers Compensation in Yakima, 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 carries depends on 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. Learn some of the basic principles of Yakima, WA workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Yakima, Washington?
As of November 2020, more people in Yakima worked in transportation, trade, and utilities than any other industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics. Unfortunately for anyone working for the area’s biggest employers, 4.1 out of every 100 workers statewide reported illnesses or injuries to the U.S. Department of Labor. Over 138,000 locals work full-time, but based on the same data from the federal government, 4 out of every 100 of them were either sick or injured on the job.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Yakima, 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.
Employers in Yakima have a unique requirement for employers to purchase workers’ compensation coverage through the state government. Most states mandate that organizations carry a policy. But, Washington State runs everything through the Washington Department of Labor & Industries. Along with medical coverage and vocational rehabilitation services, beneficiaries can receive weekly payments based on the last years’ average earnings. The state calculates this based on your taxable income and pays 60 to 75% of your usual salary.
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 Yakima, 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 Yakima, WA healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines. 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 before a doctor 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 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 received, and the providers. It’s always a good idea to bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.
The statute of limitations for workers’ compensation in Yakima, WA is one year. Most states give two to five years since injuries or illnesses may appear later in life, but in Washington you have much less time to take action. The best legal position to put yourself into involves notifying your employer as soon as possible. The organization that employs you has to file an Employer’s Report of Accident on time to comply with state law. For example, if an employee loses an eye or a limb, the Department of Labor & Industries has to hear from them within the first 24 hours after the incident.
Timeline and Other Information
A sick or injured worker in Yakima, WA has to wait for three-days before workers’ compensation payments and benefits begin. As long as a doctor believes you cannot work due to your injury, temporary disability is made available to you. If you need more than two weeks to recover, you can receive compensation for the initial waiting period.
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 witnesses to the event. In the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation continues.
Why You Should Hire a Yakima, Washington Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Yakima, Washington, in others, it may be more difficult. For example, your employer may decide to question whether your injury happened on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Yakima workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Yakima, Washington
If you get hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Yakima, 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.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!