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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.

When workers are recovering from their injuries, it is up to the insurance carrier to review the worker's earning history and determine what should be paid to the injured worker. To do this insurance companies utilize a specific formula. However, carriers often include incorrect calculations and use earnings from a period during which the worker was not working fulltime. Such calculation practices could be against the law.

Carriers often attempt to avoid further liability by sending claimants a short letter and a fraction of what they could possibly be owed. Injured employees may accept the payment without realizing they should be receiving more to cover the extent of their injuries. Consulting an experienced attorney for guidance on how to proceed after one has been injured in a workplace accident may prove beneficial in securing the workers' compensation benefits to which he or she is entitled.

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