Worker’s Compensation

 

The Law Office of Jeffrey R. Pollock is here to help if you have been injured on the job.

 
 
 
 
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Labor & Industry Benefits in Washington State

 
Workers injured on the job in Washington State have been afforded benefits that are overseen and administered by Washington State Department Labor and Industries. Under Washington’s worker’s compensation laws, an injured worker can be compensated regardless of whose fault the injury was. Victims of work place injuries or occupational disease can receive medical coverage for surgery, prescription medications, physical therapy or other rehabilitative services. If a worker’s injury or disease requires them to miss an extended period of time from work, they may be eligible to have a portion of their wages paid as time loss compensation. If the injury is so severe that the worker has to change careers or maybe even leave the work force altogether, worker’s compensation benefits can provide for retraining or a pension award. While all these benefits are wonderful for the injured worker, obtaining them can be especially frustrating and difficult without the assistance of experienced legal counsel.
 
 
 

Benefits

 
Workplace Physical Injuries
  • Back Injury– Slipping or falling injury or overexertion
  • Spinal Cord Injury – Nerve damage and paralysis
  • Loss of body parts – Finger, toe, hand, foot
  • Loss of major body part – Arm, leg, eyes
  • Head Injury – Concussion, skull fracture
  • Traumatic Brain Injury – Coma, paralysis, cognitive and physical problems
  • Burns – Chemical, water, acid, etc.
  • Paralysis – Paraplegia and quadriplegia

Medical Conditions Suffered on the Job
  • Carpal Tunnel – Repetitive motion injury
  • Respiratory – COPD, Asthma, Black lung
  • Nervous System – MS, RLS, Constant Shaking, Seizures
  • Cardiovascular – Heart Disease, Heart Attack
  • Bone – Bone density loss, bone spurs, rickets
  • Surgery – Removal of internal organ due to workplace conditions
  • Cancer – Due to exposure to hazardous materials

Mental Disabilities Suffered on the Job
  • Severe Depression – Due to claim-allowed physical conditions, and/or trauma
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Due to serious trauma in the workplace
  • Memory Loss – Due to head injury and/or mental health conditions
  • Dementia or Severe Confusion
  • Severe Phobias

Time Loss
Certain injured workers may qualify to receive 60% – 75% of their wages based on their average income of the year preceding their industrial injury or occupational disease. These temporary total disability benefits are referred to as “time loss” and often commence within 14 days of the beginning of the claim.

Loss of Earning Power
During the healing process, and with the approval of the medical provider, the employer may choose to offer the employee a modified duty position such as answering phones, administrative or clerical tasks, or perhaps a supervisory role.
Often times the modified duty compensation rate is less than the amount the worker was earning at the actual job of injury. An employee who suffers such a “Loss of Earning Power” may be entitled to a portion of the difference between the modified duty wage and the pre-injury wage.

Vocational
The Department of Labor & Industries provides vocational rehabilitation services with regard to a number of workplace injury claims. This office will assist you throughout the entire vocational process, beginning with L&I early intervention (“EI” services) all the way through retraining should your injury qualify you for those benefits, as further described below.

Retraining
After an injured worker’s injury or occupational disease has reached maximum medical improvement, a determination must be made as to the worker’s ability to return to the workforce.
If an injured worker can no longer perform the type of work he/she was previously performing, then vocational retraining may be authorized.
A fund of approximately $18,500 is then set aside for the worker to attend vocational retraining or school for up to a two-year period.
Depending on the nature of the retraining plan opted for by the worker, time loss/vocational award benefits may continue for an additional 9 – 24 months.

Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
Once an employee has reached maximum medical improvement, an assessment will be made by a medical professional to determine how much, if any, permanent loss of function the worker has suffered as a result of the industrial injury. Where it can be demonstrated that the worker has suffered claim-related permanent partial disability (“PPD”) the worker is entitled to compensation accordingly.

Permanent Total Disability
A worker is permanently totally disabled (and thus considered unable to work) when he/she is no longer able to perform the work they have done in the past and they are not able to be retrained for work that they are able to perform within their permanent restrictions.
Permanent disabilities are paid as a pension for the rest of the injured worker’s life; and in some cases for the life of their spouse, as well.
Permanently disabled workers may additionally be entitled to Federal Social Security Disability Benefits.
 
 
 

Areas of Focus

 
 
 
 
 
 
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