Washington Labor & Industries Attorneys
Our experienced L&I attorneys help Washington’s injured workers obtain disputed or increased time-loss benefits, medical authorizations, vocational retraining, permanent partial disability awards, injury pensions, and debt forgiveness.
In the state of Washington, workers’ compensation may also be referred to as “Labor and Industries” or “L&I.”
Our L&I attorneys will fight to establish disputed claims, persuade L&I claim managers to issue all appropriate benefits, seek sanctions for inappropriate conduct, and appeal adverse orders and decisions to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals or higher courts (as appropriate).
Our Labor & Industries Lawyers
Do I Need A Labor & Industries Attorney?
What Are the Maximum Benefits I Can Get Out of an L&I Claim?
If an injured worker is injured so badly that they can’t return to work for the rest of their life, they may be entitled to an injury pension in the state of Washington.
Effectively, an injury pension allows an injured worker to receive their time-loss rate everyday for the rest of their life no matter how long they live. L&I pension benefits are inflation adjusted, keep pace over time, and can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The L&I attorneys at Washington Law Center has helped injured workers obtain injury pensions worth up to two million dollars. Those benefits may be available to you but the self-insured employers and Department of Labor and Industries don’t just give them away, generally, there’s a fight. If you believe you may be entitled to an injury pension, contact us today.
For more commonly asked questions related to L&I claims, visit our FAQ section below.
Labor & Industries (L&I) Lawyer FAQs
These are some of questions we receive daily from injured workers regarding fair compensation, pension settlements, CRSSA settlements, injured workers’ rights, medical & prescription benefits, permanent/partial disability, and anything else related to L&I in Washington.
For even more information, visit our Work Injury Resources page or L&I Video Library.
Now That I’ve Been Injured, What Will The Future Look Like For Me?
At Washington Law Center, we have seen and understand the devastation that comes with work-related injuries. Losing mobility or the ability to work is difficult enough without having to fight a workers’ compensation claim or the Department of Labor and Industries for the assistance and wages you deserve.
Injured workers often call and they ask us, “How can I obtain a settlement in my Labor & Industries claim?”
There are various ways to obtain money at the end of an L&I claim and the following are some of the most common.
- Through receipt of a Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Settlement;
- Through a Sidebar Settlement Agreement, which is essentially an agreement whereby you agree not to litigate whether or not your claim should close in trade for a certain sum of money;
- A third way that you can settle your L&I claim is to engage in something called a Compromise and Release Structured Settlement Agreement. It has a big long name because not only is it a traditional settlement where there’s a compromise of both parties’ positions and a release of liability, but there is also a structured settlement aspect. In this sense, the injured worker is entitled to obtain up to $30,000 in the first month and up to $7,000 in every subsequent month. The payment is structured over the total number of months required in order to pay out the entire settlement amount to the injured worker.
If you have any questions about how to achieve a settlement in your Labor & Industries (L&I) claim, call the experienced and successful attorneys of Washington Law Center today!
Do I Have To Go To The Independent Medical Exam (IME) Doctor?
As an injured worker in the state of Washington, you can’t avoid going to the Independent Medical Exam (IME) doctor because by law you must attend. If you do not go to your appointment with an IME doctor, your benefits may be cut and you may be penalized in your workers’ compensation case.
How Do I Handle Going To The IME Doctor and What Is Expected of Me?
The best thing you can do as an injured worker fighting an L&I claim is go to the IME doctor and tell the 100% truth. Keep in mind, 19 out of 20 IME evaluations come back anti-worker but an experienced L&I attorney expects this. Unfortunately, some medical professionals have weaponized their credentials and are being paid a lot of money to testify against injured workers in Washington. If this is the case, it’s no longer in the injured worker’s hands. It’s in the attorneys hands.
Our job at Washington Law Center is to cross examine and show that the medical expert hired by the defense is bias and saying things that are not true. Your job is to go to the IME exam, tell the truth, and let Washington Law Center handle the rest.
Do I Need An Attorney For My Washington L&I Claim?
You should consult an experienced L&I lawyer if you can say any of the following:
- My claim has been denied.
- I think my wage order is wrong (I should be paid more).
- I have an open claim, but I’m not receiving Time-Loss.
- I have been told my Time-Loss will stop.
- I am being denied necessary medical treatment.
- I am being sent to an IME physician.
- A nurse case manager has been assigned in my claim.
- My employer just terminated my position at work.
- My employer took away my health insurance.
- I have returned to work but make less than before.
- I have been denied Vocational Retraining.
- I have been offered a job and I’m not sure what to do.
- The claim manager is trying to close my claim.
- I need to make an Application to Reopen my L&I claim.
- My case is now before the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.
- I am being denied a PPD award.
- I have been told my condition is pre-existing.
- I’m wondering if my doctor is siding with L&I.
What Are Injured Workers' Rights In The State of Washington?
The injured worker has both rights and responsibilities. The responsibilities generally include following medical treatment recommendations and complying with requests made by the Department of Labor and Industries or Self-Insured Employers to return documentation or submit to examinations by (so-called) “Independent Medical Examiners.”
If the injured worker follows the rules, the following benefits may be obtained:
Injury Compensation Known as “Time-Loss”
Workers can expect to receive between 60% and 75% of their pre-injury wages, including the value of health insurance and other benefits during periods when the injured worker cannot return to full duty and the injured worker’s employer declines to accommodate medical restrictions. Workers’ compensation payments should start within 14 days of first medical treatment if an injured worker misses time from work due to the work-related injury. Thereafter, payment will be made every two weeks until the injured worker is rehabilitated and returns to work. If the worker cannot return to work without vocational retraining, this may be provided. If the injured worker would likely not benefit even from vocational retraining, an injury pension is then appropriate.
The injured worker receives 100% of causally-related and medically-necessary prosthetics, assistive devices, medical treatments and prescription drugs so long as these comport with Department of Labor and Industries’ published policies and standards. For instance, standard treatments are almost always available, whereas experimental therapies are normally denied (with exceptions). Medical providers may not properly bill an injured worker for ANY portion of medical treatment (the injured worker cannot be asked to make a “co-pay”). Even some travel expenses may be recoverable if the travel is to and from specific types of medical treatments or examinations.
A lump sum of money and a provision for burial expenses are available if a worker dies, either immediately as a result of a work-related injury or even as a consequence of that injury. For instance, if the worker develops a fatal complication from surgery necessitated by a work-injury, the death is deemed to be consequential (therefore “compensable”). Survivors may receive on-going payments equal to a percentage of the decedent’s past income, increasing with direct relation to the number of children the deceased worker leaves behind.
Permanent Partial Disability
A permanent partial disability payment can be made in most Washington workers’ compensation cases where there has been a serious injury requiring more than a few days of recovery. If you’ve been denied a “PPD” payment at the time your claim is being closed, which should only happen once you’ve reached Maximum Medical Improvement (“MMI”), contact us immediately so that we can fight for the permanent disability benefits you deserve. Thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars may be available but will be forfeited if you do not timely fight for your rights as the Department of Labor and Industries or Self-Insured Employer is moving to close your claim.
Temporary Disability Payments
The worker receives benefits known as “time-loss” benefits during virtually all periods in which the worker has restrictions which are not accommodated by the employer of injury. These disability benefits continue until claim closure unless certain technical defenses apply. Among these technical defenses may be certain types of “discharge with cause” (e.g., being fired), voluntary withdrawal from the labor market (quitting a job for any reason not clearly related to following medical instructions resulting from the work-related injury) or being non-cooperative with necessary treatments, other rehabilitation efforts, or the Department of Labor and Industries’ orders to attend an Independent Medical Examination.
Change of Condition
If the injured worker’s circumstances change, such as if their employer of injury terminates their employment or health insurance benefits, or if there is otherwise a need for a new surgery subsequent to a period of prior rehabilitation, then the injured worker must be paid additional L&I benefits.
Approximately $14,000 is set aside for tuition costs related to qualified retraining efforts. Workers’ are also paid time-loss benefits during up to two years’ worth of vocational retraining. Workers who do not wish to be retrained, for whatever reason, may instead elect something known as “Option 2,” which allows the worker to receive six (6) additional months of time-loss benefits and return to request more limited retraining budgets within the subsequent five years.
When an injured worker cannot return to work, even with the assistance of vocational retraining, due to a combination of the worker’s injuries, age, limited skills and other factors, then an injury pension is appropriate. An injury pension pays the injured worker time-loss benefits for the rest of the injured worker’s life, even including the years which are beyond full retirement age under the Social Security Act. Injury pensions very often result only after significant litigation, including jury trial, since these create a very large liability for the defense interests in an injury claim.
How Can An Attorney Help With Your Washington L&I Compensation Lawsuit?
Washington’s workers’ compensation system is governed by Title 51 RCW and administered by the Department of Labor and Industries. Washington’s first workers’ compensation act passed in 1911. The Act was drafted by representatives for both industry and labor based upon a mutual desire to end wasteful and costly litigation. Stertz v. Industrial Ins. Com’n of Washington, 91 Wash. 588, 590, 158 P. 256 (1916). From this “great compromise,” employers gained immunity from suit and employees obtained guaranteed “sure and certain relief” via the accident fund established and paid for by employers. Id.; State v. Clausen, 65 Wash. 156, 169-170, 175, 117 P. 1101 (1911). Employees gave up their right to substantial damages at trial in exchange for “a small sum without having to fight for it.” Stertz, 91 Wash. at 590.
If you’ve been injured on the job in Washington state, Washington Law Center can assist you to obtain the money and medical benefits you deserve. Too many workers get denied benefits, or get benefits which are far lower than they should be. The Department of Labor and Industries has split duties: those to the injured worker and those to the state compensation funds. The L&I Claim Manager is responsible to hold costs and disbursements as low as possible, notwithstanding that the Claims Manager is also the one who decides whether or not additional benefits get awarded.
Injured workers have enough to do in just trying to heal and get back to work. The workers’ compensation lawyers at Washington Law Center know the system better than the Claims Managers which administer the claims. Our attorneys are therefore able to bring the force of law to bear in order to influence decisions which the injured worker might otherwise lose. Many injured workers report that having an attorney to watch over their rights was a tremendous relief and benefit while they engaged in rehabilitation.
The cost of hiring counsel in Washington is very reasonable since attorney fees are regulated and limited by statute. Injured workers therefore pay an effective rate of attorney fee which is far lower than the plaintiffs in personal injury matters, for instance. Our attorneys will not work in your claim if we believe we cannot be of benefit to you, even when considering the cost of our contingent fees (we don’t get paid unless you do). We also offer free initial consultations so that you can explore the benefits of having an attorney while also learning about your rights without having to make any payment at all.
Free L&I Claim Evaluation by a Work Injury Attorney
Featured L&I Attorneys
Our L&I Team
Case Results From Past Work Injury Clients
$25,500,000 – Workplace Injury Claim
Record setting lump sum settlement plus lifetime care and pension. Believed to be the largest recovery in its jurisdiction.
$2,177,000 – Industrial Injury Pension for a 51-Year Old Man who Suffered Physical and Mental Health Injuries
Injury pension paid at nearly $60,000 (inflation adjusting) per year for a client with significant physical and mental health injuries.
$1,900,000 – Injury Pension for Physical and Mental Health Impairments
Injury pension paid at nearly $60,000 per year for a client with significant physical and mental health impairments.
$1,886,000 – Industrial Injury Pension for a 53-Year Old Man who Suffered Physical and Mental Health Injuries
Injury pension paid at nearly $60,000 (inflation adjusting) per year for a client with significant physical and mental health injuries.
$1,825,000 – Industrial Injury Pension for a 38-Year Old Man who Suffered Physical and Mental Health Injuries
Injury pension paid at nearly $40,000 (inflation adjusting) per year for a client with significant physical and mental health injuries.
$1,150,000 – Personal Injury (Third-Party) and L&I Settlement for a 60-Year Old Woman who Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury at Work.
This settlement was typical of many traumatic brain injury cases, where there is a relative paucity of objective evidence but the person injured was also very credible.
$1,100,000 – Injury Pension for Injured Worker
Expected injury pension paid at $24,000 per year to an injured worker for an expected 46 more years.
$1,100,000 – Personal Injury (Third-Party) Settlement for a 52-Year Old Woman who Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury at Work.
In addition to the Third-Party Personal Injury Settlement, this woman also received a very valuable Industrial Injury Pension that pays were monthly for the rest of her life.
$1,021,000 – Injury Pension for 48-Year Old Woman who Suffered Physical and Mental Health Injuries
Expected injury pension paid at nearly $24,000 (inflation adjusting) per year to an injured worker for an expected 46 more years.
$1,000,000 – Injury Pension Granted After Another L&I Attorney Failed
Expected injury pension paid at $35,000 per year. This client found attorney Spencer Parr following their representation by a prior Labor & Industries attorney who could not meet the client’s legal needs.
$960,000 – Injury Pension for Injured Worker
Expected injury pension paid at $64,000 per year for an injured worker.
SEE MORE $876,000 – Injury Pension for Injured Worker $852,000 – Injury Pension for Injured Worker Injury Pension Granted to Widow of Worker Who Died From Injuries Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Case Reopened and Won SHOW LESS
Expected injury pension paid at nearly $44,000 per year for an injured worker.
Expected injury pension paid at $23,000 per year for an injured worker.
L&I Survivor’s Pension worth [undisclosed] per year for a widow’s remaining life expectancy after her husband died from his injuries more than a decade after his L&I claim closed with only a small permanent partial disability(PPD) award.
L&I Survivor’s Pension worth [undisclosed] per year for a widow’s remaining life expectancy after her husband died following multiple injury-related surgeries, despite the Department of Labor & Industries initial order stating that his claim was closed with no permanent partial disability(PPD) awarded.
$876,000 – Injury Pension for Injured Worker
$852,000 – Injury Pension for Injured Worker
Injury Pension Granted to Widow of Worker Who Died From Injuries
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Case Reopened and Won
No Fee Until You Win
Our attorney fees are contingent, so you pay no fees until we win. We also offer a completely free, no-obligation case evaluation.
If you have questions about your workers’ compensation case or L&I claim, do not hesitate to contact us!
OVER $100 MILLION AWARDED TO OUR CLIENTS BY VERDICT, SETTLEMENT, INJURY PENSION OR JUDGMENT