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Bellingham Workers Compensation Lawyer
When you are an employee at a job site in Bellingham, you have the right to work in a safe environment and receive compensation for any injuries or illnesses that you contract during the course of your duties. However, not all workers’ compensation claims are successful — leading to unpaid medical bills, an inability to work, and significant financial hardship.
Whether you are filing your first workers’ compensation claim or you are attempting to appeal a claim denial, Colburn Law can help. Our Bellingham workers compensation lawyers have assisted Washington employees in receiving the compensation they need to recover from workplace injuries for years, securing funding for medical expenses, disability, and more.
- Colburn Law values open and honest communication each step of the way when working on your case. We will always update you of any important aspects of your claim, and we are available to answer any question you may have.
- We have experience working with both private workers’ compensation insurers and the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). We understand how to file a claim, how to appeal a decision, and how we can assist you from start to finish.
- Our Bellingham personal injury law firm understands how painful a workplace injury can be, and we will gladly accommodate your accessibility needs. Our Bellingham workers comp attorneys will meet with you at our offices, or an alternative location such as your home or hospital room upon your request.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work in Washington?
In the state of Washington, the law requires all employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. Workers’ compensation insurance provides funding to cover medical expenses, disability benefits, and other costs that a worker incurs if he or she suffers an injury or develops an illness on the job.
Employers have two options to receive workers’ compensation insurance in Washington.
- Most employers obtain insurance through the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). L&I manages claims and disburses benefits for workers throughout the state, pulling compensation from the Washington State Fund.
- If an employer is financially stable with at least $25 million in assets, has an effective accident prevention program, and is able to provide efficient administration for claims management, they may qualify for self-insurance. Under this program, employees can claim the same benefits as L&I, but the process for obtaining those benefits differs.
What to Do After a Workplace Injury in Bellingham
To understand the steps to take after you suffer an injury at your work site, you will need to know if your employer has insurance through L&I or self insurance. For an L&I claim, you will typically take the following steps.
- First, report the injury to your employer and seek medical treatment. You may need to see a specific doctor, depending on your employer’s policies.
- Next, you will need to file your accident report to L&I within 1 year of the date of the injury. You can file a report at the doctor’s office, by calling L&I, or by going to the L&I website.
- Finally, you will wait for L&I to respond. If they deny your claim, you can file an appeal.
Benefits You Can Claim Under Workers’ Compensation
Washington workers’ compensation laws entitle employees to certain benefits when they suffer an injury or illness on the job, including the following.
- Medical benefits to pay for any expenses you incurred as a result of the injury or worsening illness
- Wage replacement, in case you had to miss work to seek treatment or recover from the condition
- Compensation for any necessary medication related to your injury or illness
- Reimbursement for travel expenses if you have to travel more than 15 miles to seek treatment
- Disability benefits for any physical disabilities that you incur as a result of your injury; this benefit can include either permanent total disability or permanent partial disability
Injured on the Job in Bellingham? Colburn Law Can Help
If you suffer an injury at work in Bellingham, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation — but in many instances, L&I or a self-insured company can deny your claim on shaky grounds. In these situations, look no further than Colburn Law to help you receive the funds you need to recover. Contact us today to discuss your claim and plan your next steps.