Many injured workers do not get the benefits that they should receive. Here is a list of examples the Department of Labor or Industries and/or Self-Insured companies do that harm already-injured workers:
1. Wage replacement benefits (aka time loss payments) should be paid at 60% of a single person's wages and benefits, plus 5% additionally for a spouse and 2% for dependent children (whether minors or not). The claims administrators frequently document people as 'single' when they are not. They often fail to include benefits in the calculation. Consultations to establish wage entitlement are free.
2. Injured workers should know that the closure of their case is rarely the end of the matter. A claim may be opened at any time within seven (7) years of the claim's first, final closure, for full monetary and medical benefits. Injured workers should know, however, that they must show objective worsening. A consultation to determine availability of reopening is free.
3. Claims may be reopened forever for medical benefits and treatment. Consultations to learn more about this are free.
4. If you had a condition before the injury, but the injury worsens it, it may still be a work related claim and you should have worker compensation benefits. Free consultations are available to assist you in understanding this.
5. If your injury causes other problems in your life, those conditions ought to be allowed on your claim. For example, injured workers often feel a sense of anxiety, despair, even hopelessness when they cannot work with their colleagues or fear for their ability to provide for their families. Mental health care is available and covered by worker compensation.
6. Similarly, in other instances, physical injuries can result in overuse injuries to other parts of the body, as a worker tries to compensate for the injured body part (e.g. a limp causes a problem with the back). The newly injured body part may be added to the claim, and treatment obtained. Free consultations to discuss all of this are available.
7. If your claim closes, reconsideration and even appeal of that closure are free. If you are paid a permanent partial disability check, you may use that money to compensate medical providers to testify on your behalf. Consultations regarding claim closure, reconsideration and appeal are free.
8. If you have conditions you think are related to the on-the-job injury denied or "segregated" (i.e. separated) from the claim, you must request reconsideration or appeal. If you do not request reconsideration or appeal within sixty (60) days of the date of the order denying or segregating those conditions, you may be barred from doing so in the future. Consultations about denied or segregated conditions are free.
9. If you do not feel like much is going on in your case, it is possible there is something going on behind the scenes, with a retro group, third party claims administrator, vocational counselor, etc. These people work to compromise your claim. It is their job to do so. A free consultation about the present circumstances of your case can help you understand what is happening.
10. If you are injured, but returned to work at less than what you were earning previously, you are likely entitled to loss of earning power benefits. Call today, for a free consultation regarding loss of earning power benefits.
11. You can pick your attending physician (or provider, ARNP, PA-C, DC, etc.) and do not need to keep your claim with the first person you saw, the person your employer may have taken you to, or the provider that the Department assigned to your claim. The form is available here: https://www.lni.wa.gov/forms/pdf/F245-037-000.pdf. Consultations are free, to learn more.
12. If you were injured while you were working, but because of the negligence of another person, you may have TWO related, but independent claims. Your worker compensation claim and a third party claim. It is very important that you fill out the form here: https://www.lni.wa.gov/IPUB/249-008-000.pdf. It is also very important that you contact an attorney familiar with both claims processes and the laws that apply to each, so that your recovery can be maximized. Free consultations are available, to learn your options.
13. FINALLY: IF YOU EVER SEE "NOTICE OF DECISION," "ORDER," OR THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE ON ANY LETTER YOU RECEIVE...
"This order becomes final 60 days from the date it is communicated to you unless you do one of the following: File a written request for reconsideration with the Department or file a written appeal with the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals..."
...YOU SHOULD CONTACT A WORKER COMPENSATION ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY.
Consultations are free. Fees are contingent on success. Let's discuss your case in detail. Contact McPartland Law Offices today to speak with a workers' compensation lawyer in Kennewick, Moses Lake, or Spokane, WA.