After an on-the-job injury or illness in Walla Walla, WA, you may be worried about how you will pay your bills until you can return to work. You will also have medical treatments that must be paid for, and it can be overwhelming to consider getting behind on what you owe. Fortunately, you can turn to workers’ compensation insurance from your employer.

At Calbom & Schwab, you can speak with skilled Walla Walla workers’ compensation lawyers to discuss your case and how to proceed. Getting these benefits is not as easy as it may seem, and you will need experienced guidance for managing your claim in Washington State. Contact us for a free consultation now. 

Why Choose Calbom & Schwab as Your Work Injury Lawyers

At Calbom & Schwab, our workers’ compensation attorneys will be by your side in your claim from start to finish. If you have recently been hurt but do not know where to begin, we will assist you in completing the application. If you have been denied benefits, we will assess the reason and help you prepare an appeal.

Your work injury attorney will ensure you include all the required information to reduce your chance of denial. If you receive notice your claim is being reduced or delayed, we can put our experience in employment law and the workers’ comp process to work negotiating a settlement. Our team of labor & industries lawyers will work to get your benefits continued if they are at risk of being stopped. 

If you were hurt by a third party and workers’ comp is not available to you, your L&I lawyer will help you file a personal injury lawsuit. This gives you a chance to seek full compensation for your damages from their negligent actions. Since workers’ comp does not pay for your pain and suffering after a work injury, a lawsuit provides the opportunity to recover financial relief for how your life has been affected. 

How Workers’ Compensation Insurance Works in Washington

Almost all employers in Washington must supply and pay for workers’ compensation insurance from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. This coverage protects employees who become sick or injured by some event on the job. Employees receive the benefits they need without resorting to a lengthy and time-consuming lawsuit against the company.

Beginning a workers’ comp claim starts as soon as the injury or illness occurs. Before you complete any paperwork, you should follow these steps:

  • Report your injury or illness right away to your manager.
  • Seek medical evaluation and treatment from a company-approved doctor who will verify the extent of your injury, confirming it is related to an incident at work.
  • Begin the claim process on the L&I website.

You have as much as one full year to file the claim, but you should report the incident to your supervisor as soon as possible. It is best to do so verbally right away and then follow up with a written statement of what happened. In the case of repetitive motion injuries that can take some time to manifest, the one-year timeframe gives enough time for the symptoms to appear. Your workers’ comp lawyer from Calbom & Schwab can answer any questions you have.  

What Benefits Does Walla Walla Workers’ Compensation Pay?

Workers’ compensation insurance in Washington will cover about two-thirds of your income and all of your medical bills for conditions related to your illness or injury. You can use the wage replacement benefits to maintain your housing, food, credit card, and other expenses. With these payments, you can focus on getting better instead of worrying about income.  

Benefits you might receive from workers’ compensation in Washington include: 

  • Wage replacement payments equal to approximately two-thirds of your weekly salary before you were hurt or became sick
  • Reimbursement when you submit your medical bills associated with your illness or injury 
  • Reimbursement for your travel costs to receive treatment
  • Job retraining or educational program assistance if you are unable to go back to your former job
  • Permanent disability benefits for an extended period if you can no longer work 
  • Death benefits for your surviving family members if you pass away from your illness or injuries 

Once your claim is approved, you will receive benefits while you are temporarily disabled. During your recovery, the company doctor determines if you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). They then use this rating to establish if you are able to return to work or if you are permanently disabled.

Your workers’ compensation attorney in Walla Walla can evaluate your situation to ensure you do not miss out on any benefits you deserve. We will ensure you have the appropriate documentation to support the claim and communicate on your behalf with workers’ comp insurance representatives to manage any negotiations.

How Much Does a Workers’ Comp Attorney Cost?

We understand you may have questions about the price of hiring a labor & industries lawyer to manage your claim. Without an income until your benefits start being paid, you probably feel things are risky enough that you should not add any more expenses. However, we take those worries off your mind by offering both a free consultation and a contingency fee structure.

This means you do not pay us to take your case, and you do not pay us until we secure a settlement for you in your claim. We collect a percentage of your settlement, which you agree to before we begin to work. You do not have to pay a large retainer fee upfront or an hourly rate. You can get the guidance you need from an experienced L&I attorney and still pay your bills. 

We can afford to do this because we trust in our training and knowledge to give your case a powerful likelihood of success. Our labor & industry attorneys know the process, we know the laws, and we are confident in our ability to handle your case. 

Common Workers’ Compensation Injuries in Walla Walla

Regardless of where you work or what your job is, you have a risk of getting hurt on the job. Some worksites are more dangerous than others, and some industries are extremely risky, but even an office worker could get sick or injured. The primary factor in successfully claiming workers’ comp benefits is that your condition can be related to something that happened at work. 

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that the most common injuries you may experience on the job include: 

  • Abrasions, cuts, and lacerations
  • Back injuries, such as muscle strains or tears and sprains
  • Broken bones
  • Caught in or caught between objects or equipment
  • Electrocution
  • Falls from heights 
  • Fractures
  • Puncture wounds
  • Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Struck-by accidents, including vehicle accidents
  • Trip-and-fall accidents

Four of these injuries (crushing, being struck, falling, and electrocution) result in the most workplace deaths. Even if you survive these accidents, you could be left with permanent injuries that keep you from going back to work again. Your expenses could spiral quickly into hundreds of thousands. Over a lifetime, your costs could be in the millions.

When Is an Injury Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Walla Walla, WA?

For workers’ compensation to cover your bills and salary, you must be able to demonstrate that your injuries or sickness is a result of something that happened at work while you were on the clock. There are some situations in which an injury will not be covered, such as violating established safety protocols or company policy. Other factors that could disqualify your claim include:

  • You did not use the right safety equipment for the task.
  • You engaged in fighting or an assault with the intent to cause harm to someone.
  • You failed to follow all lockout procedures for high-energy equipment or machinery.
  • You hurt yourself on purpose or allowed yourself to be exposed to toxic substances.
  • You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you caused the accident.
  • Your actions were illegal or intentionally hazardous.

Even if you were following the rules but you were hurt by another worker who committed these actions, your claim could be denied. When this happens, you may feel it is the end of the world if you cannot get workers’ comp benefits. However, you should still speak with our labor and industry lawyers.

When someone’s actions were negligent or malicious, you have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against that individual. Even if you only receive part of your workers’ comp benefits, you could still file a lawsuit against those responsible for your injury with the guidance of an L&I attorney in Walla Walla, WA.

Third-Party Lawsuits Can Secure Larger Settlements

Filing what is known as a third-party lawsuit can help you obtain a potentially larger settlement than you may secure from workers’ compensation alone. When a vendor, contractor, or other person is responsible for your injury, you can file against their insurance or file a legal action. 

For example, suppose a security company that was contracted to protect your workplace’s building and parking lot failed to keep out a criminal who assaulted you. In that case, you would be able to seek compensation from that company for your damages, including the part of your salary workers’ comp does not cover, your personal property loss, and your pain and suffering. Your workers’ compensation lawyer can give you more details about this option. 

Why Did Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Get Denied?

The application process for workers’ comp benefits is deceptively simple. It seems that all you need to do is report the injury, have the doctor confirm that it is work-related, and fill out a form. However, workers’ comp is still a form of insurance, and insurance companies are very aggressive when it comes to denying claims of any kind. The more they pay you, the less profit they make.

This means they are always looking for reasons to deny a claim. The large majority of first-time claims are denied because you did not answer all the questions on your application. Others are denied when they think you have not given enough supporting documentation. You must follow every rule and requirement if you want to have a successful claim.

By speaking with a qualified workers’ comp lawyer before you begin, you can learn whether there are potential problems with your claim. That allows your attorney to help you correct them, if possible. Even so, there are some legitimate reasons your claim may be denied, such as:

  • The claim was not received by the insurance company in time.was not filed in time. 
  • Your injuries were self-inflicted.
  • Your injuries are due to a pre-existing condition.
  • There was not enough medical documentation, or your claim lacked the right kind of information.
  • You broke the law or your company’s policies.
  • You were not on the clock when you were hurt or got sick.

These can make it challenging to secure the benefits you need, but even in these circumstances, your Calbom & Schwab work injury attorney will take every action possible to build a claim for you.

Put Your Trust in Calbom & Schwab’s Walla Walla Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today

Facing time without pay when you are watching the medical bills pile up can be extremely stressful. The added worry is not good for your health, and you need to concentrate on getting better so you can get back to your job. You need your workers’ comp claim to go through quickly and correctly so you can receive the payments. A Walla Walla labor and industries attorney from our firm understands your concerns.

This is when you can turn to our workers’ comp attorneys to manage your claim on your behalf. We can review your situation and ensure your application is as complete as possible. If you have been denied, we will review the reasons and begin building a powerful appeal so your benefits can be issued. We do this by starting with a free initial consultation and offering our services in English and Spanish.

Calbom & Schwab stands ready to provide knowledgeable and reputable legal guidance from a top-notch Walla Walla workers’ compensation lawyer. Contact us by phone or through our easy online form to schedule your free case evaluation today.