Yakima man in need of workers' comp

Start Your Workers’ Compensation Claim the Right Way

You were hurt at work, and you’re dealing with a lot. A workers’ compensation claim could get you to a much better place.

Workers’ comp includes pay for lost wages and coverage for the medical treatment you need for your injury. It’s a path to financial security.

But the way you start your workers’ comp claim, even in the early confusion after an accident, can have a big effect on your ability to secure full benefits later on.

At Bothwell & Hamill, our workers’ comp lawyers see people making mistakes, so we gathered a list of seven mistakes to avoid in Labor & Industries (L&I) injured worker claims in Washington State.

If you’re in Richland, Spokane, Kennewick, Sunnyside, Yakima, Walla Walla, Ellensburg, Wenatchee, or anywhere else throughout Central Washington, talk to us for help with your L&I claim.

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Sunnyside man stressing over Social Security Disability hearing

7 Mistakes People
Often Make in L&I Claims

These mistakes are easy to make when you’re under stress from an injury on the job. But if you can avoid them, your workers’ compensation claim can go easier for you.

No. 1: Assuming Your Injury Doesn’t Count

If your health was damaged because of your work—no matter how it happened—you may be entitled to workers’ comp claim. You have a claim even if you caused the accident. You have a claim even if your injury wasn’t from a sudden trauma but from repetition or exposure to hazardous conditions over a long period of time. You can also have a claim for damage to your mental health.

No. 2: Hesitating to File for Workers’ Comp

You should report your claim as soon as you can after you were hurt at work. Don’t wait to see if you feel better. And don’t worry what your employer will think. You have rights under Washington workers’ comp law. Move quickly to protect your rights.

No. 3: Failing to Get a Written Copy of Your Injury Report

Your report of your accident at work should prompt your employer to start your workers’ comp claim. Get that in writing, so you can be sure your claim his active, and so you have this key piece of documentation as your case moves forward.

No. 4: Accepting the Company Doctor as Your Own

When you first get hurt, your employer is likely to send you to a medical clinic that they pick. Instead, you should get treatment for your injury from a doctor of your choice as soon as possible. That way you can be sure your doctor’s top priority is helping you, not keeping costs down for the company.

No. 5: Worrying that You Are “Suing” Your Employer

A workers’ comp claim is not a lawsuit against your employer. In fact, the whole idea of workers’ comp is to avoid lawsuits. There’s no concept of fault or negligence in workers’ comp. It’s a system put in place to protect employers from lawsuits while also providing fast financial support to injured workers.

No. 6: Not Handling Your Return to Work Carefully

If your employer offers you light duty work, turning it down can jeopardize your workers’ comp benefits. At the same time, you don’t want to return to work too soon when you’re not fully healed. A vocational counselor could also be pushing you back into the job market. This gets complicated. You may need legal help to navigate your return to work in a way that’s best for you.

First talk to Bothwell & Hamill for a FREE evaluation of your workers’ comp claim.

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Yakima workers' comp attorney helps man start claim

What Is Mistake No. 7?
Not Getting a Workers’ Comp Lawyer

The workers’ comp system is complicated. Employers and insurance companies may deny your benefits or provide you less than what you should receive.

Experienced workers’ comp attorneys know how to push back. And they know how to steer you away from errors that could hurt your claim along the way.

When you have someone by your side who works with this system every day, you can get help making the best decisions.

Getting the right benefits—and all the benefits that you’re entitled to receive—can move you past a difficult time and to a more secure financial future.

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