Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668
206.464.4224
Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668
206.464.4224

Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668
206.464.4224

Workers’ Compensation and Industrial Safety

Workers' Compensation Frequently Asked Questions

Workers' Compensation Frequently Asked Questions

What is the jurisdiction and legal framework for workers' compensation in the state of Washington?

The jurisdiction and legal framework for workers’ compensation in Washington is governed by Title 51 RCW. The state provides sure and certain relief for workers injured in their work, irrespective of questions of fault. This has eliminated civil actions for personal injuries, with certain exceptions for third-party claims.

How is an industrial injury defined, and what are the key facts to consider?

An industrial injury is characterized by a sudden and tangible happening, of a traumatic nature, producing an immediate or prompt result occurring from without resulting in a physical condition. A claim for industrial injury must be filed within one year from the date of injury.

What distinguishes an occupational disease, and what are the filing requirements?

An occupational disease arises naturally and proximately out of employment. Determination of allowance relies upon objective medical findings by a physician on a more-probable-than-not basis. A claim for occupational disease must be filed within two years from diagnosis.

What steps should be taken to investigate claim allowance?

Key steps include gathering information to evaluate and corroborate the mechanism of injury. Obtaining and identifying pre and post injury/disease chart notes and medical opinions.

What is the deadline for filing a protest or appeal to a Department order?

There is a 60-day window from the date of receipt of an adverse order to file a protest for reconsideration to the Department or appeal to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.

What are practical tips for handling time loss compensation?

Ensure information provided to the Department for wage calculation is accurate. Review the asserted work hours, wage rate and benefits reported by the worker. Communication with the worker and attending physician is also helpful to assess recommended physical restrictions and to coordinate timely responses to job analyses presented.

What factors are considered in the closure of a workers' compensation claim?

Claim closure requires the worker’s industrially related condition or occupational disease to be at maximum medical improvement along with resolution of employability.

What options exist for claim resolution, and what practical tips can be applied?

Claim resolution options to avoid the cost and time of litigation include binding medical examinations, Board Order on Agreement of Parties’ and Claims Resolution Settlement Agreements (CRSA). Practical tips involve providing the Department with alternative action options, staying involved in the process, and advocating for additional information.

Do you need an attorney to represent you before the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals?

Obtaining legal representation is strongly advised. All representatives before the Board will be expected to follow the WA Rules of Evidence and WA Civil Rules of Procedure.

Get in Touch with Our Team Today



Legal Services