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Olympia Personal Injury & Workers' Compensation Law Blog

What are some common pitfalls after suffering a workplace injury?

Many Washington State residents may not be aware that workers' compensation is a no-fault system. This means that an injured employee does not have the burden of proving that the employer's negligence caused his or her injuries. It also means that the worker who suffered the injury may have been acting negligently at the time of the workplace accident but would still most likely be able to file a claim. As long as one's workplace injury is related to their work and was suffered while they were performing duties according to their job, then an injured worker will most likely be able to file a workers' compensation claim. However, there are certain issues to keep in mind when filing a claim.

First of all, it is important to ensure that an employer turns in the claim. Though the workers' compensation system is supposed to be straightforward, the reality is that employers often end up ignoring employees' injury reports. As a result, employees often end up going to their own doctors and get stuck paying their bills without any help from their employer.

What is the most dangerous job in Washington State?

Typically, when someone goes to work in the morning, he or she does not think about where their job lies on a scale of dangerousness. The good news is that Washington State is one of the safest states to work in, with a fatal injury rate of 2.4. This rate is calculated by dividing the total number of fatal injuries by the total number of hours worked by all employees that year, then multiplying that number by the base hours worked for 100,000 equivalent full-time workers. The state was fifth safest in the country.

The most work-related deaths in 2016 took place in transportation and material moving, at 18 deaths. Construction and extraction took the second spot, with 14 deaths and 10 deaths occurring in forestry and fishing. However, the highest fatality rate was for the forestry and fishing sector, at 14.5, whereas the construction industry had a rate of 7.5.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month highlights dangers of act

Though 97 percent of drivers recognize that texting and driving is dangerous, 45 percent of those same people admit that they have either read an email or a text while driving within the last month, and 35 percent have sent an email or text. These survey findings demonstrate that distracted driving is still a cause of concern, as nine people die daily in auto accidents related to it.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the AAA is implementing new campaigns to highlight the dangers involved with it. It is attempting to get drivers' eyes back on the road by juxtaposing different dangerous driving conditions. For example, many Washington state motorists would not get behind the wheel when intoxicated, but don't think twice before texting and driving, though both are equally dangerous.

How ergonomically safe is your workstation?

Safety authorities nationwide, including Thurston and surrounding counties in Washington state, have had many discussions about the value of ergonomic studies and workstation modifications to mitigate musculoskeletal and other injuries in workplaces. Are you fortunate enough to have an employer who prioritizes employee safety and health? If not, you might benefit from discussing the benefits of ergonomics with your superiors.

Activities that can lead to MSDs include manual handling and lifting of materials, with the risks exacerbated by frequent and repetitive motions. Learning about ergonomic hazards can help you prevent lost workdays that might compromise your financial stability.

Multi-vehicle car accident sends three to the hospital

Until someone is involved in an auto accident, they do not know the emotional and financial toll it takes on an accident victim. Not only does a victim struggle to recover physically, but he or she may find it difficult to emerge from the financial damage inflicted upon them from medical bills and the costs of repairing a vehicle. One way an accident victim can recoup these losses is by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused crash. But what happens when there are multiple vehicles involved? In these instances, who does one hold accountable?

These are perhaps the thoughts going through the heads of accident victims involved in a recent three-car crash in Washington State. According to police, a 21-year-old woman was driving her vehicle north just before noon when she failed to stop at a red light. As a result, her vehicle crashed into another one at the intersection. However, this was not the end of the incident.

We help seek compensation for catastrophic injuries

Washington residents likely have a routine set out for their day. This likely includes getting out on the roadways at different points during the day. Driving has become such a second nature to most people that they don't even realize how dangerous of an activity it is and the risks associated with it. it is only until someone becomes injured in an auto accident caused by someone else's negligence that one realizes the hazards on the road and the stark reality that a driver can be cautious as he or she wants, but if surrounding motorists are not careful, there is little that can be done to avoid an wreck.

Becoming injured in an accident sets off a chain of events unlike any one has prepared for-hospital visits, medical bills, and property damage are likely just tips of the iceberg. During this time when one's monetary needs are likely the highest they are going to be for a long time, many injured accident victims are unable to work and earn enough to cover unforeseen medical expenses and day-to-day costs.

Are repetitive strain injuries covered by workers' comp?

Construction workers, bloggers and baristas have one thing in common and Washington residents are probably not going to be able to guess what it is-they perform the same function again and again while working and end up suffering from repetitive strain injuries. RSI actually refers to a wide variety of problems that are associated with repetitive tasks, vibrations, mechanical compression or awkward positions.

RSi is most commonly caused by overuse of a particular group of muscles, working in cold temperatures, forceful activities, direct pressure to particular areas and holding the same position for prolonged periods. It can also be caused by carrying heavy loads or by fatigue. Psychological stress has shown to make RSI worse.

Washington's pure comparative negligence laws

Becoming injured in an auto accident is a traumatic event for Washington residents and leaves emotional and physical scars that can take both a long time and a lot of medical treatment to recover from. Medical bills result from treatment and one way to recoup medical bills is by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver at fault for the accident. However, one reason accident victims hesitate from getting the justice they deserve is because they are also at fault in the accident and are unsure of the laws surrounding their crash.

Recovery after an auto accident is based upon fault. Therefore, if one driver behaves negligently and causes injury to another, then the negligent driver is liable for the resulting damages. With the concept of negligence comes contributory negligence-conduct that would create an unreasonable risk to oneself. This means that the accident victim also has a duty to act as a reasonable person and when they do not and are injured as a result, the victim may be liable for their own injuries even though someone else was also involved in the event. However, the victim's role in the injuries does not bar him or her from recovering in Washington, which is a pure comparative negligence state.

Washington finally recognizes the toll of being a first responder

First Responders

You stand ready to help us all. We stand ready to help you.

As a first responder, you are always ready to help those in need. When you need help getting the benefits you've earned under the law, we are here to help you. 

Which injuries are covered by workers' compensation?

Whether one is passionately engaged in their profession or is about to switch job, one of the main reasons California residents go to work is to earn a living. When a workplace injury prevents someone from working for a period of time, workers' compensation insurance is supposed to kick in and cover lost wages, along with the expenses of medical treatment. However, only those injuries that were incurred while the employee was doing something on behalf of their employer will be covered by workers' compensation.

This means the injury must be classified as suffered during the course of one's employment. While it is likely that most injuries that take place in the workplace can be considered to be covered by workers' comp, even injuries that take place in company owned trucks and any other location where the employee was doing something related to their employment can be covered.

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