Seattle Workers Compensation Lawyer
The workers’ compensation system in Washington was designed and implemented to protect injured workers and give them the security of knowing they would receive medical care and wage replacement benefits when injured on the job. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen this way. You may have to fight for proper medical treatment. You may be told that you need to return to work when you really cannot. Because of the way the system has evolved, injured employees sometimes feel that no one cares.
At the Seattle law office of Elk & Elk, our workers’ compensation attorneys care. We know the details of Washington workers’ comp and use that knowledge to ensure that our clients are treated fairly and get the benefits to which they are entitled.
To learn how we can help you, call us at 1-844-ELK-WEST (1-844-355-9378) for a free consultation.
Why Choose Elk & Elk for Workplace Compensation Cases
Elk & Elk is a law firm operating out of Seattle, Washington whose primary goal is one thing: securing the most amount of compensation for your claims.
- Our firm has successfully won numerous multi-million dollar lawsuits, adding up to a grand total of over $1 billion in combined compensation.
- With Elk & Elk by your side, you can be confident that we will be able to handle even the most complex cases due to our attorneys’ knowledge and experience in Washington state law.
- We handle all of the legal paperwork while maintaining clear and open communication, providing you an environment in which you are comfortable and confident in your legal team.
- Elk & Elk has 50 years of experience protecting the victims and families of injuries sustained in a number of ways.
Choosing Elk & Elk to represent you is the clear choice. We strive for success and are willing to go as far as we need to to win you the workers’ compensation you and your family deserve.
How a Seattle Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Helps
Insurance companies usually do not side with victims. People who sustain personal injuries more often than not are left with looming medical bills, lost wages, and strains on their quality of life. In addition, employers are quick to blame the victim so that they are not held liable. Our attorneys at Elk & Elk know how these institutions work, and are ready to fight on your side.
Our attorneys are willing to open up negotiations with your place of work and insurance companies. While they may try to cheat you out of compensation you are entitled to, an Elk & Elk personal injury lawyer knows what compensation you deserve to receive.
As your lawyer deals with other parties, they will also be consulting medical professionals and preparing your paperwork. We want to ensure that your claim is filed in its entirety according to Washington state law, and our legal professionals have extensive experience doing this. By going through the proper channels, an attorney will ensure that even if your case is brought to trial you will have representation that is willing to fight for your rights.
How Workers’ Compensation Works in Washington
The system is funded by premiums paid by both employers and employees (employees contribute through payroll deduction). Most workplaces are covered by the system, with the exception of sole proprietorships without employees. These types of operations can purchase insurance to cover the owner if he or she is injured. Additionally, some employers are self-insured. They have to follow all the rules established by the state’s labor and industry department, but they fund their insurance differently and handle employees’ claims directly. About one-third of Washington employers are self-insured.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Injuries
There are many different kinds of injuries that can be sustained while on-the-job. These injuries can range in severity, and may even include death. While different types of jobs may be more susceptible to severe injuries, it is worth noting that not all cases involving workers’ compensation are necessarily severe or life threatening.
- Heatstrokes or overexertion. Working in hot conditions can be a common source of workplace injury. These types of injury can often lead to dehydration or other heat-related issues. Unfortunately, some signs of heat strokes and overexertion can even be delayed until a later time and can even result in death.
- Collapses of buildings or other infrastructure. Most common in the case of construction workers, sometimes buildings or other suspended objects can fall from high areas resulting in serious injury for unsuspecting workers below.
- Injuries related to equipment. Equipment injuries involving machinery and vehicles are not uncommon. Factories and warehouses are the most common sources of these types of accidents because employees are required to work in the presence of large machines that have the potential to inflict serious damage.
- Mental or psychological strains. An often overlooked area of workers’ compensation, many different jobs require mental stress that can go unaccounted for as it is not an outwardly obvious injury. Psychological injuries can last a lifetime for some people.
- Respiratory diseases. Miners, homebuilders, and even office workers may suffer from respiratory diseases. From asbestos to mildew, untreated exposure to harmful chemicals can spell disaster for someone’s well-being and quality of life.
- Slips and falls. Many different types of workers experience falls throughout their work lives. Slips and falls can be caused by anything from a wet floor to a malfunctioning harness provided by someone’s place of work.
- Explosions or fire-related injuries. Less common but incredibly severe, explosions and injuries involving fire can cripple or even kill workers. Unsafe working conditions such as improperly stored chemicals or gas leaks are some common offenders for this type of injury.
- Automobile accidents. While working, some people are required to travel from place to place. Driving between multiple locations in cars, buses, trucks, or other types of equipment can result in disaster if a collision occurs with another vehicle.
- Loss of sight or hearing. A common threat to quality of life, some people experience the consequences of work conditions that over-stimulate the senses. Sometimes, people simply trying to provide income for their families have no choice but to work in areas that are harmful to their eyesight or ability to hear.
Benefits Available Under Washington Workers’ Comp
Workers’ compensation provides the following benefits for workers injured on the job — regardless of who was at fault:
- Medical benefits include doctor and other provider visits (you must use an in-network health care provider after the first visit to be covered).
- Drug coverage is provided only for those medications related to your injury that are on the approved state list.
- Wage replacement benefits are between 60 and 75 percent of what you earned while working. This is called time-loss compensation. Note that this does not cover the first three days of missed work. A doctor must certify that you are unable to work.
- Personal property replacement covers glasses and contact lenses, clothing, shoes and boots, and personal protective equipment, such as a hard hat, vest or other items that are not your employer’s property.
- Travel costs to see a health care provider may be reimbursed under certain circumstances.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits may be awarded if your accident resulted in a permanent impairment. You can still work while receiving PPD benefits — the award is based on the level of impairment as certified by a doctor and agreed to by workers’ compensation. These benefits will be paid even if you are able to return to work.
- Monthly pensions may be available to those who become blind, lose the use of (or lose altogether) both legs, both arms, or an arm and a leg. If the state finds that your injury prevents you from ever working again in any capacity, you may receive a full disability pension.
Other benefits may apply in certain situations. A workers’ compensation lawyer can advise you. One thing an injured worker should know: There is no compensation available from workers’ comp for pain and suffering resulting from a workplace accident. Also, there is no provision for employees whose injury was caused by negligence or recklessness on the part of the employer.
Common Reasons for Workers’ Compensation Denial
There are numerous reasons why someone may be denied workers’ compensation. Should we take on your case, your attorney at Elk & Elk will work tirelessly to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Nevertheless, it is important to understand potential shortcomings in your case.
- You failed to notify your place of work of your injury within the mandated amount of time.
- You were not medically treated for your injuries.
- You were partaking in play such as roughhousing or horseplay when you sustained your injuries.
- You were under the influence of a substance during the injury.
- Your injury was the result of a preexisting condition.
- You did not have a workers’ compensation attorney.
These are just some of the many ways your employer or an insurance company may try to dispute your case. It is important that you follow all the necessary steps when sustaining an injury while on-the-job to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. Your attorney’s sole priority will be securing maximum compensation for you while battling against claims made by the other party.
Beyond Workers’ Comp: Other Resources After an Injury
At Elk & Elk, we have seen that many workers do not know that under certain circumstances, they can file a lawsuit if their injuries were caused by a third party — someone or a company other than the employer. In addition to helping injured clients obtain full and fair workers’ compensation benefits, we can help them file a lawsuit against the negligent third party to obtain additional compensation. Examples of this type of claim include workers who were injured while driving for the employer by another driver who was not an employee, a worker who was injured because of a defective tool or other product, or a worker injured at a worksite not owned by the employer, such as a construction site.
Call Us for a Free Consultation if You Were Injured on the Job
If you were injured while working, you owe it to yourself to learn about the workers’ compensation system and your rights and options. Reach out to one of our Seattle workers’ compensation attorneys at Elk & Elk by calling 1-844-ELK-WEST (1-844-355-9378) or contacting us online for a free initial consultation.