Have You Suffered a Work Injury in Spokane, Washington?
Every year, there are thousands of workers across the nation who are injured while performing work-related tasks. While the majority of these workers reserve the right to file a workers’ compensation claim for injuries, workers’ compensation is not the only source of recovery following a workplace injury. An experienced work injury attorney at our law firm can assess the full scope of damages for which you can seek compensation following an accident you have suffered at work.
If you have been told by your employer that all you can do to recover compensation after being harmed at work is to file a workers’ compensation claim, that may not be accurate. Employers enjoy protections from the workers’ compensation system, so the issue may appear solved from their end, but you likely have suffered additional damages for which workers’ compensation alone does not offer you a solution. You need to know your legal rights if your injury occurred at work. We urge you to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Spokane workplace injury lawyer at Albrecht Law PLLC so we can assess your true range of legal options to seek full compensation for each of the damages you have suffered.
While you may be barred from filing a claim against your employer under the law, we understand you need to be compensated if you were injured while working due to a third party’s negligence. The workers’ compensation system is not your only channel to pursue compensation for damages following a work injury. Our Spokane, Washington work injury law firm can help you identify and pursue third-party injury claim options in addition to workers’ comp.
We Wrote The Book on Work Injury in the State of Washington
Our attorneys have deep knowledge and experience in the legal issues and concerns facing injured workers in the state of Washington. In fact, we wrote the book on the subject.
Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that workers’ compensation cases are their only recourse following a work injury. The unique details of your workplace accident will inform the legal options to seek other compensation that may be available to you.
We are here to help you navigate the next steps in your work injury case during a free consultation. Contact us today to speak with a workplace injury lawyer regarding your questions — We have your answers.
Common Workplace Accidents and Injuries in Spokane, Washington
An employee in nearly any industry can suffer an on-the-job injury. These serious injuries can lead to extensive medical bills, lost wages, inability to work or engage in activities you enjoy, and various non-economic damages like pain and suffering. You should seek appropriate medical attention for your injury immediately, which helps to assess the scope of your injuries and provides documentation to support your claims.
Some common workplace injuries and accidents include:
A workplace accident can leave a worker with a disabling injury that is expensive to treat, leading to large medical bills and often preventing them from returning to their job and earning an income. There may be Social Security Disability implications associated with the injury.
Work injury cases can involve an intersection with many of our practice areas at Albrecht Law PLLC. For example, work accidents involving motor vehicles will involve insurance company communications. When you work with our workplace injury lawyers, you benefit from our experience in a variety of personal injury practice areas that may pertain to workers’ compensation claims and third-party injury claims.
An injured worker may also require special assistance or care due to their disability, and even be forced to make modifications to their home. These types of damages are categorized economic losses, and they are not the only types of losses injured employees suffer due to a workplace accident.
Contact our injury lawyers today at Albrecht Law PLLC to schedule a free consultation if you have suffered a workplace injury. The experienced workplace injury lawyers at our firm are prepared to guide you regarding your path to physical and financial recovery following work-related injuries and associated medical costs in and around Spokane, Washington. Ask us your questions and learn how effective legal representation can improve your life situation after you were injured at work.
Understanding Non-Economic Losses Such as Pain and Suffering, Following a Work Injury
Non-economic losses, such as pain, suffering, and a diminished quality of life are other important components of a workplace injury, but they are not included in workers’ compensation. Instead, compensation for non-economic losses from workplace accidents can only be pursued through a third-party work injury claim. While these often excruciating experiences are relatively subjective and are therefore more challenging to evaluate in monetary terms, non-economic damages are very real, and they can and should be properly evaluated in coordination with an experienced work injury lawyer.
Tragically, non-economic losses often bring significant consequences and various emotional frustrations for an injured person’s future. Work injuries often have massive implications for an injured worker’s future abilities to perform tasks, their ability to pursue activities they enjoy, and their overall quality of life. An experienced Spokane work injury attorney can evaluate your case to determine whether you have a valid injury claim following your injury in the workplace.
Workers’ Compensation Is Only One Component of a Work Injury Case in Spokane, Washington
In Washington state, workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory for the majority of employers, and therefore the majority of employees are covered under this coverage type.
Workers’ compensation insurance is a no-fault insurance system:
- Workers do not have to prove fault as part of their workers’ compensation claim for their injuries
- Workers are also not barred from recovery if their own fault contributed to an accident
Note that these two points differ significantly from a personal injury case in Washington. In exchange for not requiring proof of fault to make a valid workers’ compensation claim, employers are immune from liability, which means that an injured employee cannot file a suit against their employer for damages.
What’s more, only economic damages, such as compensation for lost wages and medical expenses, are recoverable in a workers’ compensation suit; an employee who’s injured cannot seek compensation for pain and suffering.
However, you may be able to seek compensation for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering through a third-party work injury claim if the circumstances involving your injury at work involved the negligence of another party besides your employer. Work closely with a workplace accident lawyer to assess this separate work injury lawsuit option in your case. We invite you to request a free case review so we can help you determine your next steps.
Regarding Wrongful Death Claims Associated With Injuries On The Job
In unfortunate cases involving fatal accidents at work, we can explore the options for wrongful death claims on behalf of surviving family members. We have many years of experience in investigating and proving wrongful death claims involving Spokane workers. For a workplace accident, we will seek to identify whether a third party contributed to your loved one’s fatal accident.
In these circumstances involving the death of a worker on the job, we will immediately begin exploring how the accident occurred at your loved one’s job and advise you regarding the implications for the estate and death benefits. There are time limits to consider related to the statute of limitations and the interacting complexities of both a work-related accident and estate matters. This is an intersection of our law firm’s practice areas, and we offer free consultations to advise you regarding your legal options and the right next steps for your family to pursue appropriate financial compensation.
Proving Third-Party Liability Claims Against a Negligent Third Party
While you are barred from filing a lawsuit directly against your employer following a workplace injury, you may maintain the right to file a third-party liability claim against a negligent third party, such as another business, contractor, property owner, manufacturer, driver, etc.
In a third-party liability claim, you must prove that:
- The third party against whom you are filing suit owed you a duty of care
- The third party breached the duty of care owed to you
- The breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of your injuries and damages
Examples of third-party claims include:
- Filing a suit against the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment that malfunctioned, leading to a workplace accident
- Filing a suit against the driver of a motor vehicle whose negligence caused a roadside construction crash, injuring a worker
- Filing a suit against the owner of a property (other than an employer) where work was being performed when a dangerous condition on the property was the cause of the worker’s injuries
Planning Your Next Steps To Seek Compensation Through Two Separate Claims Following a Work Injury in Spokane, Washington
If you’ve been injured at work in Spokane, don’t leave potential compensation on the table. Non-economic damages may encompass physical pain, emotional distress, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of activities, reputational damage, and more. While these damages may not have a direct financial cost, they can profoundly affect an individual’s overall well-being and day-to-day living.
While solely relying on workers’ compensation can keep an injured person from seeking appropriate compensation for their non-economic damages, pursuing a separate third-party claim allows you to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.
Therefore if you sustain an injury at your workplace in Spokane, Washington, it is important to understand that you may need to pursue two separate claims: a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party personal injury claim. These two types of claims for workplace injuries are distinct and each has its own legal standards and processes.
Distinguishing Points Regarding the Workers’ Compensation Component of Your Work Injury Case
The following are some distinguishing points regarding workers’ compensation:
- Workers’ compensation does not cover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or reduced quality of life.
- Benefits can include medical expenses and only a portion of lost wages.
- Injured workers do not need to prove their employer was at fault for the injury when claiming workers’ comp.
- Workers’ comp is designed to provide a limited set of benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses, regardless of whether they contributed to their own injury.
Injured employees do not have an option to pursue non-economic damages for work-related injuries. However, you may also have grounds for a third-party personal injury claim in addition to a workers’ comp claim in order to seek appropriate compensation for non-economic damages after an injury occurred at work. You are likely leaving money on the table if you limit your response to only seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
Third-party personal injury cases are appropriate if someone other than your employer (a third party) contributed to your injury. For example, if you were injured by a defective piece of equipment, you might have a claim against the manufacturer. This is one of many common examples of third-party involvement contributing to a workplace injury.
It is wise to seek experienced legal counsel if you have suffered a workplace injury in the Spokane Valley area so you can explore your legal rights in response to a work-related accident. Workers’ comp may not be your only option. At Albrecht Law PLLC, our workplace injury lawyers have extensive experience in helping injured workers take appropriate legal action following workplace injuries in East Washington
Distinguishing Points To Remember When Planning Your Third-Party Personal Injury Claim for Both Non-Economic Damages & Economic Damages in Washington
You and your attorney must prove the third party was liable in a third-party injury claim.
A third-party claim can provide compensation for damages not covered by workers’ compensation, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Full lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
At Albrecht Law PLLC, we’re committed to helping you understand your rights and options. We help Spokane workers like you every day, and we are prepared to assess whether you have a case to prove the negligence and liability of a third party in your work-related injury. We will help to ensure you seek appropriate medical care and documentation of your work injuries, and in gathering evidence we will coordinate collection of your medical records as you continue to pursue appropriate medical attention towards improvement of your condition. Speak with a work accident lawyer regarding your case. Our initial consultation is free of charge.
Our Spokane Work Injury Attorneys Can Help — Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Being injured at work often leads to serious losses, and workers’ compensation coverage is often not an adequate source of recovery. When you are harmed at work and you call our Spokane workplace injury attorneys, we will investigate your case to determine whether or not the negligence of a third party contributed to your harm. If it did, our personal injury lawyers can represent you in your claim, gather evidence on your behalf, issue a demand letter, and represent you in settlement negotiations.
Note that you may maintain the right to bring forth both a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party liability claim. The statute of limitations on a third-party workplace injury claim is three years from the date of the accident in Washington, but our lawyers advise starting well before this time limit is breached.
To learn more, call our experienced work injury lawyers at Albrecht Law PLLC (509) 495-1246
(509) 495-1246 today to schedule a free consultation — or send us a message through our online form. We want to answer your questions and help you determine your next steps, even if we don’t handle your case. We emphasize the “personal” in our commitment to a strong attorney-client relationship for personal injury cases. We are here to serve you.
Albrecht Law PLLC — Our Clients Are More Than Just Cases