Are you different from an advocate who may be willing to help with my case?
Yes. Our five attorneys are all licensed in the State of Washington. Some advocate organizations employ only paralegals and legal assistants, who will be unable to practice law in all of the courts necessary to pursue your case to the fullest extent. The insurance companies and Department of Labor & Industries are aware of this and may not assign full value to your case knowing there is not a lawyer representing you.
Do you speak Spanish?
Our office employs several bilingual Spanish legal assistants who can assist with your claim and interpret your meetings with your attorney.
Do you accept referrals?
Yes. We frequently receive referrals from doctors, other attorneys, and past clients.
How do I pay the attorney’s fees?
Our attorneys work on a contingent fee basis. We do not charge by the hour, but charge a percentage of the benefits we obtain either by settlement or through litigation and a trial. The percentage fee differs depending on the type of case we handle. We are happy to discuss this in more detail at your initial appointment.
Do you represent people throughout the State of Washington?
Yes. If your injury occurred in Washington, we can represent you. We have represented clients throughout the United States and other countries.
Are industrial injuries and occupational diseases the same thing?
No. An industrial injury is typically a one-time event. For example, a fall, pop in your back, being struck by another driver while driving for work, or a sudden injury with a tool or machine.
An occupational disease is an injury that develops overtime, progressively. It is often referred to as a repetitive-type injury. Examples include repetitive lifting or performing the same movements over-and-over again for prolonged periods of time (working on production lines, working on machinery, or repetitive manual labor). The term “disease” can be misleading, as occupational disease claims can be the same physical injuries as industrial injury claims, and do not require having any association with contracting a disease.
What is Permanent Partial Disability?
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) refers to permanent impairment that an injured worker suffers in relation to their workplace injury. It is based on loss of function and not on what you are able to do. The amount of compensation is determined by the legislature based on the year you were injured, the body part that was injured, and what level of impairment you suffer based on medical criteria.
How is my time loss compensation calculated?
Your time loss compensation rate will be calculated based on a number of factors and can be very complicated. Your rate is a percentage of your wage rate at time of injury, which you are entitled to receive if you have been restricted from work. It is important to have an attorney review any decision setting your wage rate as even small errors in calculations, over the course of time, could mean unjustly losing out on significant amounts of money.
Can mental health conditions be covered under an L&I claim?
Yes. Often, your life substantially changes after an injury. You may not physically be able to exercise, partake in a hobby, contribute in your household, or pick up your young children. When these significant life changes occur, it is common to suffer from a mental health condition. When addressed and diagnosed by a mental health provider and related to your injury, a mental health condition can be allowed under an L&I claim.
I was sent to an Independent Medical Examination (IME) but disagree with the provider’s findings. Can I do anything?
Yes. Although you may be required to attend an Independent Medical Examination, that does not mean you have to accept the IME doctor’s conclusions if your attending provider disagrees. Speak with one of our attorneys about your options.