All jobs, unfortunately, carry some element of risk to safety. However, some jobs, including farm work, manufacturing, and careers as a first responder, have considerably high risk. The role of Workers’ Comp is to make sure that when an employee is injured, they aren’t left high and dry with mounting medical bills and no job. Employers are responsible for ensuring they have sufficient insurance and providing compensation when necessary. Unsurprisingly, employers often have a different belief as to what/when a workplace injury is compensable. Employers often refuse to provide sufficient compensation to injured employees. This is where we come in.
Our team of attorneys at Brumback & Ottem are here to fight for America’s workforce. We understand insurance is a necessity, not a luxury, and employers are responsible for protecting their employees. When businesses fail to take care of employees, you can bet we’ll be there to fight them.
Washington State’s Workers’ Comp Regulations
Washington State is one of the very few states that require every employer to have workers’ comp insurance. This includes employers who only hire contract workers, and means every worker is theoretically covered. Beyond that, the state requires employers to purchase insurance through the state’s Department of Labor & Industries, going so far as to ban private workers’ comp coverage. While some employers may register as self-insured, the state is supposed to make sure the employer is able to cover their own workers’ comp costs.
No matter the insurance system you are relying on, whether it’s the State Fund or your employer’s Self-Insurance, we will help you navigate the maze of regulations and pitfalls. Don’t let the red tape intimidate you – it doesn’t intimidate us.
What should be covered in Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is meant to compensate for any costs resulting from a workplace injury or illness. This means it should cover medical bills, hospital bills, pharmaceutical costs, and/or rehabilitation costs, as well as any necessary partial wage replacement for the employee. This is meant to keep the employee from being financially devastated by a workplace accident or injury. Providing any less is a failure on behalf of the company to protect workers.
In more serious cases, workers’ compensation can cover permanent partial disability and pension benefits. For more dangerous professions, this insurance is vital for workers who have families to support, or simply don’t want to worry about being unable to work to pay off extensive medical bills.
When Your Employer Falls Through, Call Us. We’ve Got You.
Many workers don’t realize they’re alone until they file a workers’ comp claim. There is no worse time to learn that your employer isn’t there for you than while you’re recovering from an injury and drowning in bills. We’re here to throw you a lifeline.
The lawyers of Brumback & Ottem have years of experience defending workers’ comp claims and fighting cheap employers. Contact our Yakima, WA office today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case and your options.
Will I lose my job if I can't work?
There are several factors your employer and L&I must consider regarding your ability to return to work. It will depend on the severity of your injury, the type of work you do, and your employer's willingness to accommodate any disability.
Am I able to take time off to recover from my injury?
This depends on the nature of your injury, the instructions given by your physician, and whether or not your employer provides work within your prescribed restrictions.
Who will pay my medical bills?
Your industrial insurance carrier should pay 100% of all appropriate and reasonable medical care related to your injury at work. However, some medical treatment requires preauthorization, and some forms of treatment are not covered.
Will I qualify for permanent disability?
Permanent partial disability is a settlement payable at claim closure if you meet certain guidelines concerning the severity/permanency of your injury. Permanent total disability is a monthly pension payment for life should your injuries preclude you from ever returning to work. Objective medical and vocational evidence is required.
If I can't work, is there protection for my lost income?
You may qualify for a set percentage of your income at the time of injury. However, there are numerous methods to calculate your entitlement to wage loss and many rules as to what makes it payable.
What options do I have if my job is no longer safe?
There are several options such as new accommodations, vocational retraining, or possibly pension benefits.
What do I do if my claim is denied?
You have the right to protest or appeal any decisions made by your industrial insurance carrier. Your written objection must be filed properly within 60 days of receipt of the order. The burden of proof falls to the injured worker, and evidence must be given on a more-probable-than-not basis.