Why Did L&I Send Me a Third-Party Election Form?
- Some injured workers have 2 claims
- An L&I claim for the job injury
- A Third Party Claim
How do I know if I have a Third-Party Claim?
- You have a third party claim if you were injured by something or someone not your employer or co-worker. RCW 51.24.030
Who is this Third-Party?
- For all injured workers, a third party is someone not your employer or co-employee
- For temporary employees working for an agency, the place of employment where they were sent and the injury occurred is the third party.
Is a Third-Party Claim a GoodThing?
- A third-part claim can and should be a good thing.
- Your claim is only as good as your facts and the work you and your attorney put into it.
- A poorly handled third-party claim can be a bad thing
What do I do with this Third-Party Election Form?
- You need to fill it out and send it in, or you get your lawyer to do it for you.
- The statute, RCW 51.24.070 allows L&I or the Self Insurer to require the injured worker or beneficiary to make a choice about who will pursue the third-party claim. As a practical matter this means you are choosing who’s lawyer will represent you in the third-party claim. The injured worker or beneficiary can choose their own lawyer or L&I’s lawyer. This one’s a no brainer, choose your own lawyer if you can get a good one to take your case.
Is there a Deadline to Return this Form?
- There is a 60 day time deadline. L&I’s initial request often doesn’t start this time clock because their letter may not rise to the level of an RCW 51.24.070 demand. Don’t sit on this. Said another way, you might have more time then L&I initially says you have, however since you need to make a decision, do it now. If you need help call us for a phone consultation.
Am I going to Need a Lawyer?
- If L&I starts a third-party case, you are going to have a lawyer, either yours or theirs.
- There may be a lot of money involved here. Don’t let L&I’s lawyer represent you – it’s a conflict of interest. It makes a difference if you are represented by your lawyer or L&I’s lawyer.
- If you miss the election deadline, contact an L&I lawyer. There may still be time to get this done.
Why does L&I want this Form?
- L&I has spent money on your claim. A successful third party claim allows L&I to get some of that money back. If you get a lawyer involved, they will show you how to pay L&I back without giving them all your third party money.
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