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Published On: Wed, Apr 21st, 2021

Everything You Need To Know About the L&I Claim for Injured Workers

L&I stands for the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. It is an insurance system that offers cover and protection to workers hurt on the job. It provides various benefits, such as medical care, vocational rehabilitation, time loss compensation, pension, permanent partial disability, etc. The workers in Washington need to pay a specific amount of premium for this insurance cover. In this article, we will look at some L&I FAQs to help you understand them better. 

Who is covered under L&I?

Most workers in Washington are covered by this insurance. Your employer is mandated to provide this L&I insurance to all its workers, regardless of whether they are permanent or temporary employees. Also, you are covered by this insurance, even if you are working under the table. Non-documented workers are also eligible to claim L&I insurance. 

There are a few exceptions to coverage, as delineated in RCW 51.12.020. individuals working as federal employees, shipbuilders, and railroad workers are excluded. 

photo supplied, courtesy of guest blogging network

How to file an L&I insurance claim?

To file a claim, the first step involves consulting a doctor and completing an L&I accident form. In case of state fund cases, you can get this form from your doctor’s office. But in the case of self-insured employers, you need to check with your employer. 

Once you have completed the form, get it authenticated by the doctor and send it to Labor & Industries. It is also advisable to report your injuries to your employer immediately. 

Is there a deadline to file an L&I insurance claim?

Like any other claim, there is a Statute of Limitations (SOL) in the case of an L&I claim too. There are two SOLs, one for worker injury and the other one for occupational disease. For the former, there is a deadline of one year to file the L&I claim. For an occupational disease, on the other hand, the deadline extends up to two years or longer. 

Is it possible to choose any L&I doctor?

Yes, you can choose any doctor you want, however, there are only limited doctors for L&I insurance in Washington. L&I maintains a list of doctors, also known as network providers, that you can refer to. And many times, finding a good doctor who is also on the list becomes a challenge. 

Do L&I pay medical bills?

Yes, L&I pays for all the medical expenses incurred if the treatment you receive is related to job injury or occupational disease. They will continue to pay for the medical treatment as long as it is curative. 

Should you hire an attorney for an L&I insurance claim?

You have a right but no obligation to hire an attorney. If you are feeling confused or have any questions regarding the worker’s compensation law, you may want to consult an attorney. You can choose your preferred counselor and review the L&I FAQs on his website to clarify any doubts that you may have. Also, make sure to get your attorney fees appraised to ensure they are equitable. 

Author: Lee Sadawski

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