L&I Awards benefits

Claim Resolution
Settlement Agreement

A claim resolution settlement agreement (CRSA) is an L&I settlement option where all parties agree to close an injury claim for a specified amount. When agreeing to this settlement type, the injured worker exchanges all future L&I benefits, except medical, for the payment.

Self-insured employers (SIEs) are more likely to use CRSAs. The most common reason for this is to save money and will, unfortunately, make it more difficult for you to get your compensation. The SIE will do everything in their power to deny it. However, they still need to follow the established rules created by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) for self-insured companies. If you disagree with their decision, you have the right to protest or appeal. Contact an experienced L&I lawyer for help as soon as possible to help with the process.

How Do I Qualify for a CRSA?

You must meet the following criteria to receive a CRSA from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries:

  • You must be over the age of 50.
  • Your claim must be allowed and at least 180 days old.

How to Apply for a CRSA

How Are CRSAs Paid?

CRSAs are awarded in one lump sum at L&I claim closure.

Claim Resolution Settlement Agreement Process

Settlement discussions can be started by the injured worker, the employer, or L&I, and all parties will negotiate the specific terms of the settlement. If all parties agree on these terms, L&I will draft the settlement contract, circulate it for signatures, and send the contract to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA) for approval.

If the BIIA approves the agreement, there is a 30-day revocation period meaning that any party may revoke consent to the settlement for any reason during that time frame. However, L&I will continue to manage the claim and pay all benefits to which the worker is entitled throughout the revocation period.

A gavel rests atop a pile of one hundred dollar bills.

What Factors Determine CRSA Settlement Amounts?

The two biggest factors which determine your CRSA settlement amount are:

  • Having a higher-than-average medical claim cost, and 
  • Earning a higher-than-average working wage at the time of workplace injury.

Being found eligible for loss of earning power (LEP) benefits or for vocational rehabilitation are the two factors most likely to decrease the amount of your CRSA settlement.

Finalizing the Claim Resolution Settlement Agreement

The CRSA becomes final when the 30-day revocation period ends. Payment begins within 14 days after the agreement is final. The claim is considered closed after the 30-day revocation period ends.

Limitations of Claim Resolution Settlement Agreements

The CRSA does not affect future injury or occupational illness workers’ compensation claims, including claims for benefits when the worker’s death is the result of a claim-related condition.

Self-insured employers (SIEs) are responsible for their own settlement negotiations. The SIE may approach the injured worker or their representative to discuss settlement opportunities, but L&I must give prior written approval by mail for any settlement agreement that impacts a workers’ compensation insurance fund and allow 30 days for approval or denial of the request.


Watch This Video to Learn More about How Employment Law and L&I Claims Work Together

Your L&I Claim Is Worth More If You Also Have an Employment Claim

A significant number of L&I — workers’ compensation claims often involve additional legal claims such as employment or third-party claims. Many people file their claims without seeking representation from an L&I attorney and thus never discover that, in addition to their L&I claim, they may be missing out on the ability to file an employment claim or a third-party claim. Pursuing additional legal action with the help of an experienced Labor and Industries attorney has the potential to significantly increase a claim’s overall compensation. At Emery | Reddy, PLLC, our experienced Attorneys practice both Employment and Workers’ Compensation Law, which means we will investigate all aspects of your claim to make sure you aren’t missing out on any potential benefits.

What Is an Employment Claim?

Many injured workers find that their employer has taken, or plans to take, adverse action against them because they filed an L&I claim or they are out of work. You can file a lawsuit against your employer for several reasons, including retaliation, wrongful termination, disability discrimination, or unpaid wages. An L&I attorney who is experienced in both L&I — Workers’ Compensation Law and Employment Law can help you with your L&I claim while simultaneously filing a federal or state law claim for the violation of workers’ rights by your employer.

What Is a Third-Party Claim?

third-party claim is one in which someone other than your employer or co-worker is responsible for your injury. If you have been injured on the job due to someone else’s actions or negligence, you may be entitled to additional compensation through a third-party claim, which combines your L&I claim with a personal injury claim using the same facts.

Unlike workers’ compensation payments, there is no limit to the amount of compensation an injured worker may seek in third-party damages. Third-party claims are private matters and are typically litigated directly with the Washington State Superior Court.

Who Is at Fault for a Workplace Injury?

L&I is a no-fault system, ensuring compensation for any workplace injury. However, if a third party is involved in causing the injury, you may be able to pursue legal action against them for additional compensation under third-party claims.

Can I Reopen My L&I Claim after Settlement?

If your workplace injury or occupational disease worsens, you and your doctor may apply to reopen your claim. There must be medical evidence from an L&I-approved provider stating that after your claim closed, the condition caused by the original workplace injury worsened and needs more medical attention.

The amount of time that you have to reopen your L&I claim depends on the benefits you are seeking:

  • For medical treatment only, you may apply at any time.
  • For both wage replacement benefits and medical treatment, apply within 7 years of the date your claim was first closed (10 years for eye injuries).
    • If your claim has been closed for more than 7 years, you may apply for medical benefits. However, only the L&I Director may grant additional disability benefits such as wage replacement or disability awards for these claims.

Can I Protest My Settlement Amount?

You, your employer, and your doctor all have the right to protest any decision made about your claim. You may also appeal directly to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA).

L&I must receive a written protest within 60 calendar days of the date the decision was received (15 days for decisions about vocational benefits). The decision is final.

How Do I Know If I Have a Strong L&I Claim?

If you have an L&I claim and wonder if you should hire a Labor and Industries attorney, ask yourself the following:

If any of the above apply to you, Emery | Reddy may be able to help.

Navigating a workers’ compensation claim can be difficult and very time-consuming, especially when you’re ill or injured. You want to focus on healing and make sure your bills are paid, but if you don’t file things properly or on time, your health, home, and job could be in jeopardy. Many individuals miss out on much-needed L&I benefits because they don’t understand what to do or how to get the most compensation for their injuries. If you are experiencing any challenges in your case, a Labor and Industries attorney can assist you. By contacting Emery | Reddy as soon as possible after you’ve been injured, we can help you avoid the common pitfalls of filing and navigating an L&I claim. Our Seattle L&I Attorneys are here for you every step of the way.

timothy emery and patrick reddy walking in downtown seattle

Emery | Reddy Can Help You with Your L&I Claim

Emery | Reddy is the only law firm in Washington state that is equipped to provide comprehensive representation on your case from every angle. Our Seattle L&I Attorneys thoroughly assess every case to determine if our clients have additional claims, and at times this can extend far beyond the underlying workers’ compensation claim.

If you have been injured in the workplace, call Emery | Reddy today for a Free Case Review with an experienced Intake Specialist to learn more about how we may be able help you.

Want More Information?

If you sustain a serious or life-changing injury and are no longer able to work, you could be entitled to a Washington state L&I disability pension.

The Labor and Industries claim process is anything but straightforward. Find out the answers to your L&I — workers’ comp questions today.

You may be rated for a permanent partial disability (PPD) award before L&I closes your claim if you have completed treatment and are still able to work, but you have suffered a permanent loss of function.


Meet the Team

The L&I Attorneys at Emery | Reddy, PLLC are passionate about helping workers with L&I claims and Employment Law issues. We Help Workers®. It’s our motto and what drives us every day.

We know how L&I and big companies think, and we understand the tactics they use. Our Labor and Industries Attorneys use that knowledge coupled with over three decades of experience to help our clients get access to the L&I benefits to which they are legally entitled and hold employers accountable when they break the law.

If you’re struggling with an L&I claim, injury, or legal issue at work, call us for a Free Case Review with an experienced Intake Specialist to learn more about how Emery | Reddy may be able to help you today.

“I came to Emery | Reddy in search of an experienced employment lawyer and was able to receive expert legal advice from Patrick and Karolina. I worked especially closely with Karolina who helped me through the entire process from beginning to end.”

— Joan L.

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