Most of us have heard of job-related accidents, and such incidents are in the rise across all states. Getting hurt on the job in Seattle can be a traumatizing experience, and no matter the situation, you should know your legal rights and must claim workers’ compensation benefits. Washington State makes it mandatory for employers to have workers’ compensation insurance, which is a no-fault system. For the unversed, this essentially means that an injured worker is entitled to benefits regardless of whether they were responsible for the mishap. The benefits extend to part-time employees too. Check the website of any known firm that deals with workers’ comp claims in Seattle, and you can consult their attorneys for free. For your help, here are some key pointers.
Check the basics
Workers are entitled to benefits regardless of whether they are diagnosed with an occupational disease or suffer a work-related injury. Understanding the context of a “work-related injury” is as important. Your injury is only covered when it is related to the course of employment. Just being injured on the employer’s premises is not enough. For instance, if you suffered a heart stroke during the lunch hour, you may not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
An occupational disease, on the contrary, is a disease that results from employment. For example, if you suffered serious bone injuries because of work-related duties due to the nature of your work, it is an occupational disease. Because things are not always black and white, you need to consult an attorney to know whether your claim will hold.
Understanding pre-existing conditions
Not everyone is in the pink of health when they start working. You could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even if you had a pre-existing condition that was further exacerbated due to work-related activities. Insurance companies often try to use pre-existing conditions as an excuse to deny benefits, but with an attorney on your side, you have less to worry about.
Meet a lawyer
Before you take any significant steps, you should seek a comprehensive case evaluation from an expert. Lawyers specializing in workers’ compensation claims know what it takes to fight for the benefits and would usually take a contingency fee. Also, your lawyer cannot charge any amount they want as there is a cap on that too. Talk to an attorney soon after your work injury so that there is time to gather evidence and work on your workers’ compensation claim.