Workers’ Compensation Claims Attorney In Burien, Washington
In this article, you will learn…
- What can be filed under workers’ compensation.
- What damages can be recovered.
- When personal injury claims are appropriate.
Is An Injury Sustained At The Workplace Or While Working Always Going To Be Filed Under Workers’ Compensation?
All injuries sustained while working are going to be filed under workers’ compensation in Washington State.
Let’s say you’re going to build a house. A general contractor is the one who's in charge of all the other subcontractors and the job…
In Washington, the general contractor has a non-delegable duty to provide a safe workspace. As such, if the general contractor is not enforcing the safety rules on the job and you're injured, then they are liable. In that scenario, you would always have a workers’ compensation claim, but you also have the ability to go after the third party whose negligence caused your injury.
In another example, our firm represented a person who was working on a job where a ladder was left in an unsafe place with the roof hatch open. As he came down, the ladder fell causing him to fall and hurt his head, blow out his shoulder, and essentially become disabled.
The general contractor who had walked by the scene several times didn't do anything to change the unsafe area or didn't take any action to provide a safe workspace. We were able to bring a claim against the general contractor and the general contractor’s insurance to get him compensation beyond workers’ comp to help him move on with his life.
How To File A Personal Injury Claim In Washington
How Is Workers’ Compensation Different From A Personal Injury Claim?
Workers' compensation claims and personal injury claims are distinct legal avenues. Workers' compensation is a form of insurance provided by employers that offers benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries, regardless of who was at fault. In contrast, a personal injury claim is a lawsuit filed against a party whose negligence caused an injury, where the injured party seeks compensation for damages.
If My Employer Doesn't Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance, What Can I Do?
If your employer doesn't provide workers' compensation insurance, you might have the right to sue them in a civil court for damages. In many jurisdictions, employers are required by law to carry workers' compensation insurance. If they fail to do so, they can face legal repercussions and become liable for any injuries their employees sustain while working.
How Long Do I Have To File A Workers' Compensation Claim In Washington State?
In Washington State, injured workers generally have one year from the date of injury to file a claim for workers' compensation. However, there can be exceptions or nuances, so it's essential to consult with an attorney to understand specific deadlines relevant to your case.
Is There A Cap On Compensation In Workers’ Compensation Cases In Washington?
In some states, there are caps or limits on the amount an injured worker can receive from a workers’ compensation claim. However, the benefits in Washington State are typically based on the severity of the injury, medical expenses, and lost wages. It's crucial to discuss your case with an attorney to determine potential compensation.
In What Situations Should I Consider Hiring A Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
If your claim is denied, if you believe you're not receiving the correct benefits, or if your injury is severe and requires surgery or has caused a permanent disability, it's advisable to consult with an attorney. An attorney can help navigate the complex legal process, ensuring you receive the benefits you're entitled to.
When Should I File A Personal Injury Claim When Injured At Work?
When you can show that another individual other than your employer has caused your injury, you should file a personal injury claim.
For instance, if you're on the job driving and someone rear-ends you resulting in an injury, it is appropriate to file a personal injury claim. Whenever you can point the finger at somebody other than your employer as being the cause of your injury, you should file.
Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits If You File For Personal Injury Claim?
You can receive workers’ compensation benefits if you file a personal injury claim. Your workers’ compensation, which in Washington is Labor and Industries, will have a lien on your case so that they can get paid back some of the benefits that they paid for you.
If Injuries Were Caused By A Party Other Than An Employer, What Damages Or Compensation Can Be Recovered In A Third Party?
You can recover all the damages and compensation of any normal personal injury claim such as lost wages, pain and suffering, and disability.
In addition to getting your medical bills paid, these “human damages” as our firm likes to call them, are any injuries that a normal human being suffers that can’t be measured or recovered.
Basically, there are non-economic damages for pain and suffering and disability. It is an effort to compensate for the impact a human being endures who's been injured by somebody else.
What Are Some Of The Examples Of A Third Party Claim At Work?
Often, third party claims involve situations at worksites where the general contractor doesn't require certain safety precautions like guards on the saws, resulting in people cutting off hands or fingers.
Many claims deal with fall protection; those in charge didn’t put up railings or make workers wear harnesses then somebody falls and gets severely hurt.
Another common claim occurs when employees are driving for their employer and get hit by another vehicle resulting in injuries.
What Is The Burden Of Proof For Injured Workers In A Third Party Injury Claim?
The burden of proof for injured workers is the same as any negligence case; you have to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the other person was negligent and their negligence caused your injuries and the damages. A preponderance of evidence is more likely than not; it's just tipping the scales enough to say, “Yes, you were hurt more likely than not.”
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Workers’ Compensation Law Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy.