Posts by spencerparr

Tacoma Personal Injury Lawyers - Washington Law Center

What is the Washington State Industrial Insurance Act?

August 23rd, 2018 Posted by Labor & Industries 0 comments on “What is the Washington State Industrial Insurance Act?”

Washington’s Industrial Insurance Act provides for our state’s workers’ compensation system. The Industrial Insurance Act (“IIA”) “is based on a compromise between workers and employers, under which workers become entitled to speedy and sure relief, while employers are immunized from common law responsibility.” Nelson v. Dep’t. of Labor & Indus., 198 Wash. App. 101, 110 (Div. 2 2017) (quoting Flanigan v. Dep’t of Labor & Indus., 123 Wash.2d 418, 422, 869 P.2d 14 (1994)). In other words, workers generally cannot sue their employers or their co-employees (workers who share the same common employer), but injured workers are supposed to obtain benefits for indemnity (lost wages and lost earning power) as well as “proper and necessary” medical treatment.

How is the Industrial Insurance Act supposed to be construed by the courts?

All doubts with respect to the interpretation of the IIA are to be resolved in favor of injured workers. Dennis v. Dep’t of Labor & Indus., 109 Wn2d 467, 470, 475 P.2d 1295 (1987). The “overarching objective” of the IIA, Title 51 RCW is to reduce to a minimum “the suffering and economic loss arising from injuries and/or death occurring in the course of employment.” Cockle v. Dep’t of Labor & Indus., 142 Wn.2d 801, 822, 16 P.3d 583 (2001)(quoting RCW 51.12.010). The point here is that the workers’ compensation system is intended to benefit workers. Too often, the defense interests and even certain industrial appeals judges fail to fully appreciate that there’s almost a “tie goes to the runner” aspect intended in workers’ compensation matters. A true tie is not a win for the worker since a worker must prove their case by a “preponderance” of evidence. The Industrial Insurance Act is remedial in nature, so like all remedial statutes, it must be interpreted liberally by the courts to affect the benefits the legislature has intended.

What are the purposes of the Industrial Insurance Act?

Washington’s workers’ compensation system expressly recognizes its purposes to support the welfare of injured workers by securing “sure and certain relief for workers, injured in their work, and their families and dependents…regardless of fault and to the exclusion of every other remedy, proceeding or compensation, except as otherwise provided” by the Act, RCW 51.04.010; to achieve the “best outcomes for injured workers,” RCW 51.04.062; to “reduce to a minimum the suffering and economic loss arising from injuries and/or death occurring in the course of employment,” RCW 51.12.010; to “prevent disability…and loss of family income,” RCW 51.36.010; to “enable the injured worker to become employable at gainful employment,” RCW 51.32.095; and to achieve all of these ends in the long term, “to restore the injured worker as nearly as possible to the condition of self-support as an able-bodied worker,” RCW 51.32.055(1).  In other words, injured workers have a statutory right to be compensated for their work-related injuries and to obtain the medical benefits that will truly heal them.

What should I do if I’ve been Improperly Denied Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

If you believe you have not been provided all that is intended by Washington’s workers’ compensation system and the Industrial Insurance Act, call the dedicated and experienced workers’ compensation attorneys of Washington Law Center for immediate assistance.  We’ve been successful in collecting millions of dollars in benefits for injured workers, as well as forcing employers and the state of Washington to supply the proper and necessary medical treatments. We work on a contingent-fee basis (we don’t collect attorney fees unless we are handing you money at the same time), and we literally have no fear of the state of Washington, of Boeing, or any other large self-insured employer.  Their attorneys are NOT better than ours. We regularly beat anyone and everyone we face in court.

Do you have a claim for back-due time loss that the state or Self-Insured Employer is telling you cannot be allowed?

Are you being denied medical benefits based on a bogus assessment that your condition is “pre-existing?”

Are you being told you can return to work when you know what exertions work requires and you know your body can’t actually return to work?

These are common shams consistently destroyed by our dedicated litigators. No other firm matches our capability and reach given that we are the only workers’ compensation law firm with physical offices in King, Pierce, and Spokane counties, literally representing Washington’s injured workers both across our state and nationwide. Our attorneys can and will fly out-of-state to take depositions when necessary. We also front most litigation costs and expenses. We are the best workers’ compensation attorneys to represent your case.

Call us for a free telephone or in-office consultation today.

Spencer Parr is an attorney/partner at Washington Law Center who works with Washington labor & industriessocial security disability, & time-loss benefits. He is experienced in working all across the US as he has worked cases in Washington, California, New York, & Arizona.

Tacoma Personal Injury Lawyers - Washington Law Center

What Are An Injured Worker’s L&I Protest Rights?

August 20th, 2018 Posted by Labor & Industries 0 comments on “What Are An Injured Worker’s L&I Protest Rights?”

Effect of a Labor & Industries Protest

A Department of Labor & Industries order becomes final 60 days after the Department communicates the order to the required parties unless a written request for reconsideration, also known as a “protest,” or an appeal is filed. See RCW 51.52.050(1). A protest “automatically operates to set aside the Department’s order and hold in abeyance the final adjudication of the matter until the Department officially acts to issue its final decision by a ‘further appealable order.’” Santos Alonzo, 56,833 and 56,833A, 1981 WL 375946, at *3 (Wash. Bd. of Indus. Ins. Appeals Dec. 9, 1981); (RCW 51.52.060). (more…)

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How Does Labor & Industries Handle Residency Modification?

July 19th, 2018 Posted by Labor & Industries 0 comments on “How Does Labor & Industries Handle Residency Modification?”

Can I get my residence modified under the Industrial Insurance Act as part of Washington’s workers’ compensation system of benefits?

The short answer is “yes, but only in limited circumstances.” If you are in true need of such benefits, for either a home or rental property in which you live, you should take care to read the following information. Make sure your Attending Physician is aware of the rules set forth below as well. You will then need the Attending Provider to request that a residency modification consultant be assigned to your L&I case. The Attending Provider should also give a preliminary written opinion as to the types of modifications the Attending Physician believes you may likely need. This will begin the process.

A residency modification consultant will then be employed at the cost of the employer or state fund. The consultant will be a licensed physical or occupational therapist or a licensed nurse who has experience in rehabilitation of catastrophic injuries and residency modifications. The residency modification consultant will work with the Department of Labor & Industries, Self-Insured Employer (unless the claim is a state fund claim), the injured worker and the Attending Physician to determine which modifications are medically necessary. It is the job of the residency modification consultant to work with a licensed contractor to submit a written report requesting approval of the modifications, including the costs of architectural, engineering, predesign and planning services which may be requested. (more…)

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Do L&I Vocational Rehabilitation Services Actually Benefit You?

July 16th, 2018 Posted by Labor & Industries 0 comments on “Do L&I Vocational Rehabilitation Services Actually Benefit You?”

What Vocational Rehabilitation Services are Available under the Industrial Insurance Act?

The following Vocational Rehabilitation Services are available under Washington State’s Industrial Insurance Act pursuant to WAC 296-19A-020(a)-(l):

  • Gathering an industrially-injured or ill worker’s work and/or education histories and physical capacities information
  • Assessing an industrially-injured or ill worker’s employability
  • Developing, documenting, and writing vocational rehabilitation plans
  • Monitoring an injured worker’s progress during training
  • Writing retraining progress reports and submitting these to the Department of Labor and Industries
  • Analyzing and documenting the transferable skills of the injured or ill worker and writing a transferable skills analysis
  • Performing occupational research
  • Conducting labor market surveys and writing labor market survey reports
  • Conducting and writing job analyses
  • Communicating with industrially-injured or ill workers, employers, physicians and others
  • Developing job modifications and worksite modifications, as well as pre-employment accommodations, and writing reports for this work
  • Performing work to obtain any job with any employer for injured workers referred for vocational services

An injured worker with an astute eye will immediately realize that many of the so-called “services” provided by a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) assigned either by the Department of Labor & Industries or the Self-Insured Employer (usually acting through a Third-Party Administrator or TPA) are contrary to the interests of the injured or ill worker who believes they cannot work. In this sense, WAC 296-19A-020 provides for “disservices” to the injured workers, and the defense interests know this well! (more…)

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We Can Help You Fight Your Ability to Work Assessment

July 12th, 2018 Posted by Labor & Industries 0 comments on “We Can Help You Fight Your Ability to Work Assessment”

What is an Ability to Work Assessment (AWA) under the Industrial Insurance Act?

Injured workers often get assigned a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) in their industrial insurance claim. The purpose of this assignment is often to perform an Ability to Work Assessment. The outcome of this assessment will literally determine whether the injured worker is allowed to remain on time-loss benefits and retrain for lighter work, whether they are recommended for a lifetime of injury pension benefits, or whether their L&I claim will close with a recommendation that they can still work despite the serious limitations caused by their industrial injury or occupational disease. (more…)

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