Not everyone is eligible for L&I claims. Some factors can significantly affect your eligibility, as you will see in a short while. Before that, why not dig a little into what it entails? First of all, L&I claim worth varies from one individual to another. After you have reported your work injury to the Department of Labor and Industries, they get to determine the value of your claim.
After approval, you can enjoy some peace of mind knowing you do not have to use a dime to cover the hospital bills. Another benefit of L&I claims is you get a certain amount of wage for the time lost at work. You may still work in some instances but under reduced hours, depending on the level of injury sustained.
So what can prevent you from receiving any of the above after an injury at work?
Failed or delayed reports to the L&I department prevents you from receiving justice. Some injuries may seem light at first and later on, worsen. Some employees tend to sit and wait to confirm the severity of the injury.
By doing so, you only reduce your chances of compensation. If you report it early enough, your workmates can support or testify of the accident. Filing early also means that you have higher chances of qualifying for that claim. A grace period of one year is given between the day of injury to file an L&I claim.
Examination by an independent doctor
Independent medical examiners are usually recommended by your employer or the Labor & Industries department. Accepting treatment from them is a trap because their main aim is to close your claim. They will always be on the employer’s side and work their butts to reduce the claim costs.
Therefore, always have your doctor perform all medical procedures no matter what your employer says.
Working under a self-insured employer
If your employer is self-insured, you have lesser chances of getting any claim. All that money they save is not for when you get injured but for their use. If an accident happens at work, they will probably try to shut you up or ensure that the claim amount is meager.
Playing the tough guy
If you are injured at work, do not sugar-coat the injuries. List all the areas you feel pain and the level of pain. If you try to hide such information, you will only have yourself to blame. You might just find yourself going back to work with a limp because the records show mild injuries.
Accepting light duties
Light duties are not a problem, but only if you are in a position to work. The time frame given on whether or not to accept the offer is short. If you decline, your employer might use that to their advantage. They can use it to stop you from your form receiving your L&I claim.
If ever in such a predicament, contact your personal lawyer immediately. Reach out to your doctor as well and let them make the appropriate decision.