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Washington State L & I’s Workers’ Comp: 6 Tips

Posted by Christine Foster on July 29, 2016

Working with the Department of Labor and Industries can be daunting- but being proactive in your claim can help ensure you get the maximum benefits you’re entitled to.

Follow these tips to assist in your claim, and seek the assistance of an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney to further alleviate the inevitable stress of being unable to work and having a Worker’s Compensation claim.

1. File your claim with the Department of Labor & Industries on time.

Washington State L & I regulation requires that a claim be filed with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries within 1 year from the date of the accident. In the case where an employee has suffered a condition from repetitive
stress not resulting from a distinct accident, a claim must be filed within 2 years of a doctor informing the worker in writing that they have an occupational disease and the right to file a claim.

2. See your doctor right away.

Your doctor is one of your greatest resources in a Worker’s Compensation claim. See them as soon as you can and follow the treatment plan as authorized by the Department. Be diligent about keeping appointments and honest in your assessments of pain.

3. Keep a log of how your job affects your injury.

It’s important to be honest about the duties you are capable and incapable of performing. Keep track of attempts to perform tasks recommended by your doctor and pay attention to how they affect your injury.

4. Be completely honest with your attorney.

It's vitally important not to hide any details from your lawyer- the good, the bad, as well as the ugly. Even facts you may feel to be adverse can be taken care of with proper strategy. Don’t be afraid to share details with your attorney – we’re on your side!

5. Cooperate with vocational rehabilitation efforts.

If you are recommended to see a vocational rehabilitation counselor for job retraining, it’s very important to work with both your counselor and your attorney to create a strategy that works with your doctor’s recommended treatment plan and medical restrictions. It is not uncommon for benefits to be suspended due to lack of cooperation in this part of the process.

6. Do not take your injury for granted.

In many cases, an injured worker may try to shrug off the injury and continue working. It is vitally important that you listen to your body and seek help right away. Waiting to file a claim or working beyond your doctor’s recommendations is a sure way to
complicate your claim.

If you’ve been injured on the job in Washington State and want to know if you qualify for workers’compensation benefits, give us a call for a free initial consultation and we’d be happy to steer you in the right direction.

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