Washington Workers Compensation Laws

Washington workers compensation laws protect the rights and interests of employees in cases of occupational injuries. If you get injured at the workplace or suffer from illnesses due to the harmful factors that the workplace is exposed to, you will be entitled to get compensated not just for the resulting medical expenses but also for wage loss. It is compulsory for all employers to carry appropriate insurance coverage to ensure timely payments of compensation benefits as and when needed. There are no numerical exceptions. Even any types of waivers are also not permitted.

Maximum Fee That An Attorney Can Charge

A Washington occupational injury lawyer must work on a contingency fee basis. It means they must charge their commission only after their client (the injured worker) is awarded with compensation benefits. The Washington workers compensation laws have also imposed certain maximum limit on how much commission they should charge for their services. The attorney’s fee must not be more than 30% of the total amount of monetary benefits received by the injured employee.

Waiting Period And Retroactive Compensation

If the physician treating the work-related injuries of an employee certifies that the employee is fit enough to return to work within less than three days from the date of the accident, no compensation benefits will be issued to the injured worker. However, if the worker is not satisfied with this certification, he or she also has the option to file a dispute. They still have the option to file their compensation claim in the court. In general, the employers become liable to pay monetary benefits only if the worker misses at least three days of work because of work-related injuries or illnesses. Besides that, Washington workers compensation laws also state that if the disability caused by the injuries continues for over two weeks, the compensation becomes retroactive, which means after fourteen days, the employers must pay compensation for the first three days also.

Employees also have the right to choose their own physician for treatment of occupational injuries. No list of doctors is maintained by employers. Even if employers maintain such list, workers are not obligated to choose a doctor from that list only. When they suffer from work-related injuries or illnesses, the Washington workers compensation laws allow them to go to any physician of their choice for treatment.