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Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation

Our workers’ compensation lawyer answers common questions about workers’ comp benefits in Washington state. Have other questions? Ask Conor directly in a free initial consultation by contacting McCarthy Law Office, PLLC online or at (844) 224-5029

  • FAQ

    • How do I file a claim?

      Filing a workers' compensation claim in Washington state begins with notifying your employer about your injury as soon as possible. You must complete a Report of Industrial Injury or Occupational Disease (F242-130-000), available online or from your doctor. Your doctor will complete part of the form, which must be submitted to the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

    • Who is entitled to workers' comp?

      Workers' compensation is designed to protect employees who are injured on the job. If you've sustained an injury, developed an occupational disease, or suffered a work-related illness, you're generally entitled to benefits. Some exceptions apply, so it's best to consult with our attorney about your specific situation.

    • How do I pay attorney fees?

      In Washington state, attorney fees for workers' comp cases are contingent. This means your attorney gets paid a percentage of the benefits you recover only if you win your case.

    • What type of benefits can I get?

      Workers' comp benefits may include medical care for your injury, wage replacement for time off work, vocational rehabilitation if you can't return to your usual job, and other benefits, depending on the circumstances of your case.

    • How does wage replacement work? How long will that payment last?

      If you’re unable to work due to your injury, you could receive wage-replacement benefits. The amount and duration of the payments depend on several factors, including your wage at the time of injury and whether your disability is temporary or permanent.

    • What medical providers am I allowed to see?

      You can see any doctor in the L&I's network of approved providers. If you wish to see a provider outside this network, you must request special permission from L&I.

    • What if I can never go back to work?

      If your injury or illness prevents you from returning to work due to a total permanent disability, you may be eligible for a permanent total disability pension, which provides monthly payments. Survivor pensions may also apply in cases where spouses or dependents have suffered the death of their family member due to a workplace injury or illness.

    • What do I do if my claim is denied?

      If your claim is denied, you can appeal through the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA). It's advisable to speak with our Tacoma Attorney McCarthy to navigate this process and defend your rights.

    • Can a closed claim be reopened?

      A closed workers' compensation claim can be reopened under specific conditions. According to the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), if your claim has been closed for more than seven years, you may apply for medical benefits. However, only the L&I Director may grant additional disability benefits.

      If your medical condition has worsened and your claim has been closed for more than 60 days, you can use a specific form to apply for a claim reopening.

      If you are seeking to reopen a claim within 60 days of L&I having closed the claim, you and your doctor can file a protest of L&I's decision to close the claim.

    • What if I’m injured while working out of state?

      You can file a claim in Washington if you are a Washington worker who has suffered a work injury in another state. The L&I provides guidance on how to know if you are a Washington worker, which can depend on various circumstances.

      Attorney Conor McCarthy can help in these situations by reviewing the specifics of your employment and your employer’s business locations.