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Could You Pursue Additional Damages For Your Workplace Injury?

Workers’ compensation benefits are often insufficient to cover the full costs and losses that an injured worker incurs. However, there are other paths to more financial relief that could be possible in your situation.

Third-Party Liability And Workplace Accidents

A personal injury claim, separate from a workers’ compensation claim, can open the door to additional financial resources for an injured worker. These are known as third-party claims, as you are seeking compensation from an individual or business (not your employer) that caused or contributed to your injury. For example, a delivery service vehicle, a subcontractor’s carelessness, an inspector or installer of equipment, or a tool manufacturer may be held responsible for your losses.

General contractors who fail to follow local, state or federal workplace safety rules at a worksite can be held liable for worker injuries. Normally, workers’ compensation takes the place of lawsuits against employers but the Stutes case precedent in Washington was a prime example of a general contractor’s liability in certain fact scenarios. This landmark case that I tried and won for a client was against a general contractor who failed to follow local, state or federal workplace safety rules.

Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation In Washington

Below you will find answers to common questions about workers’ comp. Keep in mind that this information is not a substitute for individual legal advice. I’d be happy to review your case and provide answers to your specific questions.

What types of injuries are covered by workers’ comp?

Any kind of injury or occupational illness that occurs in the course of your employment is covered, regardless of who was at fault. Workers’ comp also covers aggravations to existing injuries, provided your work somehow contributed to making the condition worse.

Can I choose my doctor?

You may need to choose a doctor from a list of providers approved for treating workers’ compensation cases. If you are dissatisfied with your care, you have the right to seek a different doctor. Keep in mind that you should not discontinue care. If you do that, you may lose your benefits, since the insurance company will assume that you have recovered. Always seek legal advice before doing anything that could jeopardize your benefits.

What if my employer offers me rehabilitation work assignment?

You may be required to accept the assignment or risk losing your workers’ comp benefits. However, always seek legal advice before taking any work-related action to find out what your rights are in that specific situation.

Can my employer fire me while I am receiving workers’ comp benefits?

No. Your employer can’t fire you in retaliation for your pursuit of workers’ comp, and it’s against the law for your employer to fire you while you are receiving benefits.

Should I accept a settlement of my workers’ comp claim?

Workers’ comp insurers often try to pressure workers into accepting lowball settlement offers. While it might seem tempting to resolve your case early, if you accept a settlement, you may give up on valuable benefits that you deserve. For this reason, before accepting any settlements, it’s important to seek legal advice from an attorney who is looking out for your interests alone.

How much time do I have to file a workers’ compensation claim?

It’s important to report a work-related injury or illness as soon as possible. However, if you do not realize the seriousness of your injury or illness right away, you have one year from the date of injury to file a claim. If you have an occupational disease, you have two years from the date it was discovered to file a claim.

I Am Ready To Help You After A Workplace Accident

Can you recover compensation from both workers’ compensation and the party that caused your injury? I offer a free initial consultation to review your case. I am an attorney in Seattle with 40 years’ experience, available to guide you to the best outcome that your case allows.

Call 206-388-5651 or complete a brief online inquiry form to get all of the compensation you deserve for an injury at work.