Yakima Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
You can suffer a workplace injury in Yakima, WA that occurs while in the course of employment. In this situation, you can request workers’ compensation benefits by filing a claim. However, even if you ask for these benefits, your claim may be denied or your employer may protest the allowance — and you may need to hire a Yakima workers’ compensation lawyer to help you get the benefits you deserve.
Brumback & Ottem Injury Law has experienced Yakima workers’ compensation lawyers on staff. Our team is here to help you with your workers’ comp claim in any way we can. To get started, file a claim and then reach out to us.
What You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation in Washington State
It is mandatory for businesses in Washington State to provide workers’ compensation to their employees. With workers’ comp insurance, a company offers medical benefits to workers who get injured on the job. The insurance also covers wage replacement.
Since workers’ compensation is considered a form of no-fault insurance, an employee cannot sue their employer if they get hurt at work. For example, you can get injured while you perform your day-to-day work duties and report your injury to your employer. In this scenario, you should have no trouble getting workers’ comp benefits.
At Brumback & Ottem Injury Law, we understand that some employers may choose not to comply with Washington’s workers’ comp requirement. If you are injured at work, and your employer is unwilling to acknowledge the costs relating to your injury, please let us know. Our Yakima workers’ compensation lawyer can answer frequently asked questions about employee insurance benefits and help you file a lawsuit.
What Workers’ Comp Covers
Work injury insurance offers extensive coverage to those who get hurt while working in Washington. Some of the things covered by this insurance include:
- Cost of surgery and any other medical treatments you may need for your workplace injury
- Wage replacement
- Partial or permanent disability costs
- Job retraining expenses if you have to find a new job due to the severity of your injury
A Yakima workers’ comp lawyer can teach you all about this type of insurance. They can take a look at your injury, how it happened, and the costs associated with it. From here, they can explain if your injury is covered under workers’ comp — and if so, why now may be the right time to get legal representation to protect your rights.
Ultimately, if you get hurt at work, it is in your best interests and your responsibility to pursue workers’ compensation. Your employer may do everything they can to avoid having to pay for your workers’ comp benefits. Regardless, a workers’ compensation attorney can help you secure the compensation you need to rebound from your injury.
When You Should File for Workers’ Comp in Washington
There are several types of workplace injuries that warrant workers’ comp claims. First, you must seek a medical provider that accepts Washington State Worker Comp insurance to assist in filing a workplace injury claim. Please call if questions arise as sometimes the process can be overwhelming to some.
These injuries include:
Slip and Fall Injuries
Your employer is responsible for maintaining a safe work environment. If the business does not maintain its workspace, hazards can make it difficult for employees to walk from point A to point B. For those who slip and fall at work, they can suffer back injuries, head injuries, and many others that affect them long into the future.
Construction Site Injuries
If you work in construction, you are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) every day. Yet, an employer may not provide its workers with adequate safety equipment. If it does, a worker can get injured during a construction accident.
Car Accident Injuries
Your job may require you to drive from one destination to the next. If you get into a car accident while working, you can experience injuries that range from mild to severe. When in doubt about whether your injury is serious enough for workers’ comp benefits, err on the side of caution. You can submit a claim for workers’ compensation right after your injury occurs. This may allow you to receive the help you need to fully recover from your injury.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Washington
Before you file a workers’ comp insurance claim, notify your employer about your injury. Do not wait to tell your employer that you were injured. Otherwise, you can compromise your claim. It is the responsibility of the employee to file the claim, not the employer.
You can file a workers’ comp claim online. When you do so, you will need to provide details about your injury, your employer, and other relevant information. If you have received medical treatment for your injury, you must provide the first and last name of your doctor and information about where you were treated.
In Washington, there is a one-year limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim due to a specific injury. If you suffer an occupational disease that relates to your job, the statute of limitations for submitting a claim is two years from the date you found out about your disease. Once your claim is filed, your submission is reviewed to determine if you will receive the benefits that you are requesting.
Why an Employer May Try to Deny Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
It can be expensive to pay a worker who was injured and is not available to complete their daily tasks. If you are hurt while working, your employer may focus on finding ways to avoid paying your claim rather than accepting the fact that you were injured. Common reasons why a business will deny a work injury claim include:
- You were engaged in work activities that fall outside of those required for your job.
- You were injured while doing something in violation of your company’s rules.
- You got hurt during a fight with a coworker.
- Your injury is related to a pre-existing medical condition.
If your claim gets rejected, legal help is available. You can partner with a work injury lawyer who knows the ins and outs of workers’ comp laws in Washington. This attorney can help you contest your employer’s decision to deny your benefits. Act promptly as delay could not be in your favor.
What to Do If Your Employer Denies Your Workers’ Comp Claim
You may feel stressed out if your employer rejects your request for workers’ compensation. It is important to keep in mind that your claim can get denied, and there are a lot of unknowns if you are unfamiliar with worker comp claims. To achieve your desired result, look for work injury lawyers who will give your case the attention it deserves.
It is beneficial to search for work injury attorneys as soon as your claim gets declined. You can meet with a lawyer to discuss your case. The lawyer can then prepare an argument designed to help you get compensation.
Not all workers’ compensation attorneys are created equal. Since 1989, Brumback and Ottem have represented 1000’s of injured workers in the Yakima Valley. As you consider lawyers, it helps to learn about an attorney and see how they handle workers’ comp cases. If you feel confident in a lawyer, hire this attorney, and they can help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation.
Penalties If a Business Does Not Have Workers’ Comp Insurance in Washington
There are penalties for businesses that choose not to comply with Washington’s workers’ compensation insurance requirement. The penalties for not having workers’ comp in Washington include:
- Up to $1,000 or double the amount of premiums incurred if it does not pay a workers’ comp claim
- $500 if it does not comply with recordkeeping requirements
- $1,000 for failure to comply with a statutory provision
In some instances, a business may decide it is more cost-effective to take the risk of not paying for workers’ comp coverage. Along with breaking the law, this company takes a significant risk. Because if a worker suffers a serious injury, this individual can sue the business for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A workers’ comp attorney will encourage their client to seek the most damages possible from their employer. The lawyer will make sure that their client presents a compelling argument that helps them get the full amount of the damages that they are entitled to.
How a Workers’ Comp Claim Gets Settled in Court
In a case that goes to trial, your attorney will share your argument. They will explain what happened that led to your work injury and describe why your employer was negligent. In addition, they will present evidence on your behalf in the hopes of compelling a judge or jury to rule in your favor.
There are two sides to a court case, and a judge or jury will also hear what the defendant in your lawsuit has to say. Once they do, they will render a decision. In the best-case scenario, a judge or jury will see why you deserve compensation and award you the damages you want.
You cannot control what happens in the courtroom during a workers’ comp trial. On the other hand, you can hire an attorney who handles the legal process with precision and care. With this attorney at your side, you are well-equipped to secure compensation in your work injury case.
Get Started with Your Work Injury Claim
The Yakima workers’ comp attorneys at Brumback & Ottem Injury Law are “Bulldog Tough.” We do not “cherry pick” cases — and our team commits the time, energy, and resources required to help you get the best case results since 1989. To learn more or schedule a free case consultation, please contact us today.
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.