Being in a car crash while on the job is devastating. Not only do you have to deal with any injuries or property damage, you also have the pressure of your employment hanging over your head. Luckily, when you are employed your job should have worker’s compensation, which is offered to people who are injured while working.
After the Car Crash
If you need to go to the emergency room after the crash, make sure you inform the physician or nurse that you were on the job. This tells the physician that they will need to fill out a Report of Accident, which is then submitted to Labor and Industries (L&I). L&I will then open a worker’s compensation claim and start paying for your medical treatment.
Even if you don’t have symptoms immediately after the car crash and go to the emergency room or a clinic a few days after the accident, you can still tell them it happened while you were working and they will still be able to file a claim with L&I. You can even open an L&I claim yourself through this link.
If you work for a self-insured employer, you will have to file an L&I claim directly with them. You have the same rights, but L&I will not handle or pay for your claim—your employer will.
What Does L&I Do?
Once you or your physician files a claim (which needs to be filed within one year of the diagnosis) you will likely receive paperwork to fill out for L&I. This paperwork contains your claim card, pamphlets, and any forms to fill out asking for more information from you about the car crash and injuries. You should know whether your claim was accepted or rejected in a few weeks. If your claim is rejected, you can protest the decision or appeal it.
If your claim is accepted, L&I will pay your medical providers directly. Make sure you let L&I know the locations of your treatment, and give your L&I claim number to all your medical providers. If you have to take time off work due to your injuries from the car crash, you will also receive payment for your time loss.
Once you or your doctor believes you have reached your pre-injury status, L&I will close their claim. However, sometimes L&I may close your claim early. If that is the case, you or your doctor may protest their decision within 60 days. If L&I rejects the protest, you or your physician can appeal their decision directly to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.
Were you in a car crash that wasn’t your fault while you were on the job? The Advocates have experienced car crash attorneys who know how to handle worker’s compensation. We’ll deal with L&I while you can focus on getting better with treatment. If you’ve got an attorney with a car crash L&I claim, your attorney will also be able to reduce the amount that owed to L&I upon settlement.
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