Recovery From Workplace Injury
Few people understand that under Washington state law, you do not have the right to sue your employer. Washington workers’ compensation laws prevent a worker from suing his or her employer for a work-related injury. Instead, claims against an employer are handled under the L&I system that pays workers according to a set schedule. In contrast, you can sue a third party if that third party’s actions or inaction caused your injury, even if the injury occurred while you were on the job. This type of claim is known as a third party claim.
Our award-winning attorneys regularly recover compensation for our clients against third parties, even when our clients also have a workers’ compensation claim. We often recover from third parties far greater awards for oru clients than the maximum recoverable amount under L&I laws. Simply put, we leverage your third party claim to maximize your compensation for both the third party injury claim and the underlying L&I claim. It is a unique approach and it works. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients by filing third party claims simultaneously with a workers’ compensation claim.
Our first step in litigating a third party claims is to identify the third party who may be responsible for the injury. For construction site injuries, for example, a third party developer, product manufacturer of safety devices, or even an independent construction crew may be responsible, at least in part, for the underlying injury. In such cases, we file an L&I claim and then work on building the third party claim alongside the L&I claim. We develop the facts, compile accident reports, interview witnesses, review medical records, and interview and hire necessary experts. We often find that the individuals or entities responsible for the third party claim violated a safety law, rule or ordinance, such as safe workplace or accident prevention rules. Our goal is to quickly gather all available evidence in order to preserve the third party claim, then get to work presenting an air-tight third party claim while simultaneously litigating the underlying workers’ compensation claim.
This approach nets us big wins for our clients. We are one of the very few firms in Washington state capable of providing top-notch skill and care for both a third party claim and L&I claim, and we are uniquely positioned to leverage both claims simultaneously to maximize each client’s total award. Our award-winning attorneys have a string of successful results in pursuing third party claims for our clients.
Employees with a potential third party claim will often be approached by an insurance company or receive forms from Washington L&I or a self-insured employer. Under no circumstances should you correspond with anyone but your lawyer. Completing these forms may compromise your claim. Even discussing the matter with a coworker may come back to haunt you if that coworker eventually becomes a witness in the case. Your personal, financial, and medical interests rely on creating and executing a sound strategy. We have years of experience and proven track record in handling these claims. Give us a call and we’ll tell you how we can help.
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