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Worker’s Compensation in Washington State: Three Things that Everyone Must Know

Being in the workplace comes with inherent risks to all employees, though the level of risk depends on your job and the type of workplace. A carpenter is at a greater risk of injury at his place of work than, say, an office worker. A miner is always in danger of being a victim of falling debris or cave collapses, while an accountant has less danger at their job.  A driver is at very serious risk of crashing or getting crashed on by another driver on the road.

Because of all that, almost all the states within the USA come up with insurance plans that help make sure that employees get the financial and medical assistance in the event that they are injured while on the job. Here are three important things that every worker should know about workers compensation laws in Washington state.

Worker’s Compensation is an employer insurance, and employers are required to purchase it.

Worker’s compensation is a type of insurance coverage that employers have to cover their liability for workplace injuries. It pays at least for the medical bills and all other treatments on the employee’s road to recovery.

As such, all employers in the city of Kent and the rest of Washington are required to purchase this type of insurance from the state itself, through Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). This means that all forms of insurance management and claims are handled by the state government of Washington.

Being a type of employer insurance, no deductions from the employees payroll are allowed.

Employers can actually get involved in the employee’s claim.

On the surface, it appears that Workers’ Comp laws are designed to go against employers. However, it’s actually designed to protect both the interests of the employee and the employer. For one, the employer is saved from having to pay substantial compensation in the event of a an employee being hurt at work that could bankrupt smaller businesses.

With that, the employer can actually get involved in the employee’s claim, especially if they want to control the costs and to make sure that the employee gets the treatment that they reasonably need, and not what they frantically want.

Employees and employers must submit their own reports of the accident in order to get benefits/state assistance.

When an accident happens, both the employer and employee are required to let the L&I know of their condition. This means that they need to submit their Reports of Accident or ROA separately and independently of each other. In fact, related but very distinct processes are in place for these submissions. Even medical providers who want to get paid on time must also have their own ROA submission.

Having rights is one thing, knowing about them is another. It is not often stated, but it is each citizen’s responsibility to be aware of whatever rights they have. Because of this, it is always wise for people to do research and read about the policies currently in place, especially those that have a direct or indirect impact on them.

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