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Should I File an L&I Claim?

Every industry tries to maintain safety standards for its staff at all times. Sometimes, regardless of what precautions are taken, there is always a chance of an accident happening and a worker getting injured.

According to the Bureau of Labor’s statistics, there were approximately 2.8 million work-related injuries in the US in 2019. While some injuries are minor, others completely disrupt a worker’s normal life and movements.

A work-related injury could be a huge setback for you. It could significantly interfere with your personal life as well as keep you from your job for some time or, in a worst case scenario, forever.

Should I File an L&I Claim?

By filing for L&I compensation, you could be entitled to receive significant compensation. You will be able to support yourself, pay your medical bills, and at the same time, fulfill your responsibilities towards your loved ones. 

When you choose an attorney to help you with your L&I claim settlement, you will be able to preserve your legal rights and maximum available compensation as an injured worker. Hesitating to file a claim for your rights will only put you through more misery and agony. 

Below are some of the most frequent questions people have when they aren’t sure how to file for an L&I compensation.

What is L&I Compensation?

The Washington State government agency that overlooks the Labor and Industries sector regulates and enforces industrial insurance benefits. These benefits are to be provided for all workers who get sick or injured on the job.

Are You Entitled to L&I Compensation?

Almost all types of workers, including those that are part-time and temporary, are entitled to file for L&I compensation if they get an injury at work. That means that anyone who is engaged as an employee comes under this state law.

Employers are required to provide L&I coverage to their employees, whether they pay into the state policy or self-insure. If they fail to do so, a case is filed against them.

How Does an L&I Claim Work?

If you received an on-the-job injury, you need to take quick action to protect yourself and your legal rights. Report the injury immediately to your supervisor and make sure you get a copy of any accident report they make.

Seek medical assistance immediately. You can then file for the initial L&I compensation claim with your employer. Though this looks like a simple and straightforward process, most people skip the two basic steps of informing supervisors or seeking medical attention.

Is There a Time Limit for Filing L&I Compensation?

There are strict timelines for filing L&I compensation claims. For industrial injury L&I claims, you have one year from the date of the accident to file your claim. Ideally, you should immediately report your injury to the management where you work and quickly seek medical attention. 

For occupational diseases, you have two years to file your claim provided you have the doctor’s report stating the date you got sick. It is recommended to file your claim as soon as you have symptoms of your work-related illness and have your doctor’s report confirming the same.

What L&I Compensation Benefits Can You Get?

You are entitled to several benefits if you were hurt on your job and your L&I claim has been approved. With these benefits, you are entitled to  financial assistance to look after yourself and your family. 

Once your L&I claim is approved, you may be entitled to medical coverage, time-loss compensation, loss of earning power due to the injury, vocational training, travel reimbursements, and permanent disability benefits. 

Additional benefits include structured settlements, pension funds, and retirement benefits. Hiring an attorney can help you understand all your benefits and steer you in the right direction.  

Who Chooses the Doctor to Review My Injury?

As per the worker’s compensation law, you have the right to choose your own physician. You want a doctor who can be trusted to provide you with the best care and support your claim. The only thing that is mandatory is that the doctor of your choice must be on L&I’s approved list.

You can verify this by reviewing the medical providers’ list created by L&I. These doctors have an L&I provider number that allows them to treat injured workers and help make a report or file for claims. Your attorney can also help you find qualified and trustworthy medical providers. 

What Happens If I Don’t Agree With L&I’s Decision?

If you don’t agree with the decision made by L&I, you have the right to appeal. Your best option is to get in touch with an experienced L&I attorney and have them help you file a written appeal. Keep in mind that you must submit your appeal within 60 days from the time of the decision.

Will Hiring an L&I Attorney Help My Case?

In some cases, you can handle your own claim for compensation, all workers have the right to hire an attorney to assist with their L&I claim settlement. It is highly recommended to take this step BEFORE you run into problems, so the attorney can help you avoid any setbacks.

If you or your loved one has suffered a severe injury at work, or if your employer is giving you a hard time with your L&I claim, or if your claim was rejected, you should immediately seek consultation with a worker’s compensation attorney.

A consultation can relieve any doubts you may have about hiring one.  After reviewing your case, the attorney will help you understand what actions can be taken, and then work with you to maximize your L&I settlement. 

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