On-the-Job Injury Lawyers
Workplace injuries can significantly affect all aspects of your life, including your ability to continue doing your job. Fortunately, the Washington State workers’ compensation system, also called L&I, provides benefits for workers injured on the job. Navigating the complex system can be confusing and frustrating. The on-the-job injury lawyers at Robinson & Kole guide injured workers through the system with the goal of recovering the full compensation provided under the applicable laws. From our Bellingham office, we help clients throughout the State of Washington. For our Spanish-speaking clients, our bilingual team members make it easy to work with us.
Robinson & Kole has been devoted to helping clients recover compensation for workplace injuries and diseases and personal injury claims for more than 40 years. All five of our lawyers are successful trial attorneys with extensive courtroom experience, who have the knowledge and skills to help you navigate through the L&I claim process. Our attorneys work together on case strategy and problem solving, so you benefit from the collective experience of our legal team that represents more than 100 years of handling workers’ compensation claims.
Workers’ compensation benefits are available for an on-the-job injury or an occupational disease (repetitive injury). The two types of claims are distinct and have different requirements. The statute defines an injury as “a sudden and tangible happening, of a traumatic nature, producing an immediate or prompt result, and occurring from without, and such physical conditions as result therefrom.”
A workplace injury is a medical issue caused at a specific point of time by a sudden, unexpected event. There are many types of accidents and events that may cause an on-the-job injury that qualifies for L&I benefits. Examples include being hit by an object, falling, or being injured in a motor vehicle accident.
Getting L&I Benefits
If you receive an on-the-job injury, you must follow the established process administered by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries to receive the workers’ compensation benefits provided by the state system. Timelines and deadlines apply throughout the process.
When you’re injured at work, the top priority is getting medical attention. You are free to choose your own doctor for the first visit. For subsequent visits, you must choose from L&I’s approved list of medical examiners. Regardless of how long your medical treatment lasts, you must file an L&I claim within one year of the date of the injury to be eligible for benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The system provides specific benefits for employees injured in the workplace, including payment for:
- Medical treatment
- Wage replacement benefits (time loss compensation)
- Retraining during recovery
- Permanent partial disability award
- Lifetime disability pension
- Death benefits
If you have a work injury, your benefits depend on the specific circumstances of the injury and your ability to return to work. Our lawyers at Robinson & Kole have the experience, knowledge, and skills to advocate aggressively on your behalf. Our goal is always to help you obtain the best outcome based on your needs.
Legal Representation for an L&I Claim
You are not required to have assistance from a lawyer to make a workers’ compensation claim, but you are entitled to have legal counsel if you wish. In many cases, getting assistance from a lawyer can be beneficial. Having legal representation is the best way to ensure that you receive all the benefits provided by state law.
A wide range of issues can arise during the complex L&I process. If you attempt to navigate through them on your own, you could end up getting fewer benefits than the laws provide. Getting assistance from a lawyer, who can help you protest or appeal adverse decisions, avoids that possibility.
When you get help from the on-the-job injury lawyers at Robinson & Kole, you can focus on your medical treatment and on getting better. You don’t have to worry about meeting deadlines or timelines, or responding to requests relating to your L&I claim. Your lawyer helps you understand all the aspects of your case and evaluate the options you have for proceeding. Your questions and concerns will always be addressed, so you can have confidence in making decisions and moving forward.
Under the Washington State workers’ compensation system, an injured employee cannot file a legal action against their employer or a co-employee, even if the employer’s or fellow employee’s negligence caused the injury. However, in some cases, a work injury is caused by negligence of an outside party who is not the employer or another employee. In that case, state law provides the injured worker with the ability to file a third-party claim against the responsible person.
Compensation in a third-party claim is different from the benefits provided by workers’ compensation and is potentially greater, because it includes reimbursement for both financial and non-financial harm. Third-party claims are separate from an L&I claim and are processed through a different legal system. Separate state laws govern third-party claims filed by an injured worker who receives L&I benefits. Representation by a lawyer with experience in third-party claims is crucial.
Our practice at Robinson & Kole focuses on both workers’ compensation claims and third-party personal injury claims. If you have the basis for pursuing a third-party action, your lawyer will help you navigate through both processes to recover the compensation provided by all applicable laws.
Free Consultation with a Washington Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
From our office in Bellingham, our Robinson & Kole workers’ compensation attorneys help clients throughout the State of Washington. If you have an L&I claim for a workplace injury, your claim for benefits was denied, or your employer or L&I disputes your claim, we welcome you to contact us for a free consultation with our on-the-job injury lawyers by calling 800.640.5616 or using our online contact form. Se habla Español.