So you were injured at work, and now you need help dealing with the physical, emotional and financial fallout. However, the workers' compensation system in Washington can be confusing, and you are not sure if you qualify for benefits. This is understandable, especially since your employer's insurance company is not on your side.
Many Olympia residents spend most of their waking hours in their workplaces, which is why it might seem more of a home to them than their own residences. Colleagues seem like family members and bosses may seem like elderly relatives, which is why their changed demeanor after a workplace accident may seem confounding to an injured worker. It might also explain why injured employees may hesitate filing a workers' compensation claim, as is their right.
In Washington state, people typically look up to nurses, law enforcement, teachers and first responders because individuals in these professions usually care more about the needs of others than about their own. Paramedics, who face potential danger with every response to a call, also fall into that category.
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.
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.
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.
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.