Posted by Christine Foster on November 25, 2014
If you are injured at work or develop an occupational disease, you can file a workers' compensation claim with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). If your workers' compensation claim is accepted, you will receive workers' compensation benefits to cover the cost of medical care related to your injury or illness. If you are unable to work after your injury, you may also be eligible to receive a portion of your lost wages.
Seek Treatment Right Away
If you suffer an injury at work, the first thing you should do is get treatment as soon as possible. First aid is important because even seemingly minor injuries can become serious if they aren't treated right away. All employers in Washington State are required to have a first-aid kit.
If your injury is more severe and you require medical treatment, go to an emergency room or a healthcare provider of your choosing as soon as possible. Be sure to inform the healthcare provider that you sustained your injury on the job. Your healthcare provider can help you file a Report of Accident. If you still require medical care after that first visit, you will be required to see a healthcare practitioner in L&I's network.
Promptly alert your employer of your injury after receiving treatment. This will give your employer time to learn the details of your situation and respond promptly when they receive your claim paperwork from L&I.
Injured employees who work for self-insured employers are entitled to the same workers' compensation benefits as workers who file their claims directly with L&I. Employees who work for self-insured employers file their claims using a Self-Insured Accident Report. Self-insured employers are responsible for processing workers' compensation claims and compensating injured workers for losses and damages.
Report Your Injury Immediately
Many people who are injured at work don't report their injury right away because it seems minor and doesn't require immediate medical attention. Instead, they take the “wait and see” approach. However, reporting an injury right away is important because it helps to ensure that you'll receive the medical treatment and other benefits to which you're entitled. If you don't report the injury right away, your employer could deny that the incident occurred or claim that it happened outside of work.
Even if you don't think that your workplace injury is your employer's fault, you should report it because Washington is a no-fault state. This means that L&I will cover your claim, regardless of who is at fault. This rule applies to self-insured employers as well. If you move out of Washington State, your benefits will continue as long as you meet your responsibilities.
The dedicated workers' compensation lawyers at Foster Law P.C. in Seattle, WA have represented workers with all kinds of injuries in many different occupations. We understand the every case is unique and will use our legal expertise to help you secure the benefits you deserve. Call us today at 206-682-3436 to schedule a free consultation.