Lakewood Workers Compensation Lawyer
Seasoned Lakewood Workers Compensation Lawyer Pursue Financial Benefits for Workers Hurt on the Job in Pierce County and Throughout Washington State
If you have suffered an injury on the job or have been diagnosed with a disease or illness that was caused by your work, you deserve to seek workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can help you with your medical recovery as well as ensure you can continue to meet your expenses if you cannot work. Unfortunately, too many injured or ill workers face obstacles in getting the compensation they are entitled to under the law. A Lakewood workers’ compensation lawyer from Smith Duran Law can help you to cut through the red tape and get the benefits and care you need. We understand the physical and emotional consequences that you are experiencing due to your workplace injury or occupational disease. That’s why we strive to offer compassionate legal representation aimed at getting you the results you deserve in your case.
When you have been injured at work, you have legal rights to receive financial compensation. Reach out to Smith Duran Law for a free initial case review to see how a Lakewood workers compensation lawyer from our firm can help you in pursuing benefits in your workers’ comp claim.
Washington State’s Workers’ Compensation Benefits
A worker in Lakewood who suffers a work injury or occupational disease may be entitled to receive certain financial benefits from the workers’ compensation system in Washington state. The benefits that you might receive will depend on the type and severity of your injury or occupational disease, how long it takes you to recover, and whether you are left with permanent impairments or disability. Benefits from the workers’ comp system can include:
- Medical benefits that cover the cost of authorized treatments
- Travel expense reimbursement for eligible costs incurred traveling to and from medical appointments or procedures
- Reimbursement for your personal property that was lost or damaged in a work accident
- Wage loss replacement, including when you can’t work due to your injury or illness, or if you experience a reduction in your income after accepting a modified duty or part-time position in line with your limitations during your recovery
- Vocational training, which can prepare you to move into a new job if your injury or occupational disease prevents you from going back to your old one
- Disability benefits, which provide payments for a permanent impairment to a body party
- Pension benefits that offer compensation if you are permanently disabled from doing any kind of gainful employment
- Death benefits, which offer compensation towards the cost of funeral/burial expenses as well as providing pension benefits to surviving family members and dependents
How to Obtain Workers’ Comp in Lakewood
Filing for workers’ compensation benefits for a work injury or occupational disease in Lakewood involves several steps:
- Seek medical attention and notify your employer of your diagnosed work injury or occupational disease as soon as possible. Remember that you can seek emergency care or go to a first medical visit with any provider of your choosing
- File your formal workers’ compensation claim within one year of suffering a work injury or two years of an occupational disease diagnosis. If your employer is insured by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, you will file your claim with L&I. If your employer is self-insured for workers’ compensation, you will file your claim directly with your employer; your employer’s HR department can advise you on how to file your claim with your self-insured employer.
- Promptly respond to any requests from L&I or your employer for additional information or for you to attend an independent medical examination. Not providing the requested information or failing to attend an IME may result in your claim being denied
- If L&I denies your workers’ comp claim, you have 60 days to file a protest of the decision. You also have the option of appealing the denial of your workers’ comp claim directly to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals
Finally, you should consider engaging a Lakewood workers’ compensation early on in the process to help ensure that your claim paperwork is timely and properly filed and to assist you if you face problems in getting your claim or requests for benefits denied.
Contact Smith Duran Law for a Free Case Evaluation to Speak with a Lakewood Workers Compensation Lawyer about Your Rights
After you have suffered a work injury or have been diagnosed with an occupational illness, contact our firm for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. You can learn more about your options from a Lakewood workers’ compensation lawyer from our legal team who can also help you pursue your claim for benefits.
About Lakewood, WA
Lakewood is a city located in Pierce County, Washington. Formally incorporated in 1996, present-day Lakewood started out as prairie land and was the site of Fort Nisqually, one of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s fur trading posts. Grist, flour, and sawmills sprang up in the mid-19th century. Towards the end of the 1800s, stately homes were being built along the shores of the area’s lakes. Lakewood began rapidly developing after World War II, with residents voting in 1995 to incorporate as a city.
Frequently Asked Questions about Workers’ Compensation in Lakewood
Potentially yes. Eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits is based on whether a work injury or an occupational illness arose in the course and scope of a worker’s employment. You can receive workers’ comp even if your work injury occurred outside of your employer’s place of business, such as if you were injured while driving between your employer’s offices or on a work trip, or if you were injured while visiting a client site in the course of your job duties.
Washington state operates a “monopolistic” workers’ compensation system. This means that employers in Washington required to offer workers’ compensation to their employees must purchase workers’ comp insurance from the state fund managed by the Washington Department of Labor & Industries. This contrasts with most other states, where employers purchase workers’ compensation insurance through private insurance companies. L&I then pays benefits to employees of these insured employers. However, employers in Washington with more than $25 million in assets can apply to self-insure for workers’ compensation. These employers then become responsible for paying workers’ comp benefits to their employees.
If a worker is driving a vehicle for work and a drunk truck driver crashes into them, the worker can pursue workers’ compensation benefits as well as a third-party lawsuit against the truck driver and the trucking company. Workers’ compensation doesn’t cover things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, or punitive damages. Therefore, a worker may not be able to recover enough compensation to fully cover his or her expenses and lost income through those benefits alone. With an additional third-party lawsuit, however, the worker would be able to ask the court for non-economic and punitive damages.
The Department of Labor and Industries manages claims for injuries at work. You are entitled to money for lost wages, medical treatment, vocational retraining, loss of body function, and in some cases a pensionLEARN MORE
If your injury was caused by someone other than a co‑worker, an auto accident, or defective equipment, you may be entitled to additional compensation. Our attorney will evaluate your case.LEARN MORE