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 if I Don’t Want a Third Party Claim?
You don’t have this choice. L&I has paid money on your claim and they want it back. L&I will pursue all good third party claims, like it or not. Your only choice is which lawyer will help you, your lawyer or their lawyer.
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.
What Do I Do with this Third-Party Election Form?
- You need to fill it out and send it in, or find your own lawyer and have him 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 which lawyer will pursue the third-party claim. As a practical matter this means you are choosing a lawyer to represent you on the third party claim, or L&I will assign you one of their rookie lawyers. This one’s a no brainer, choose your own lawyer, if you can get a good one to take your case.
- If you need a form, this is the link. Third Party Election Form
Am I Going to Need a Lawyer?
- If L&I believes you have a third-party case, you are going to have a lawyer. You have no choice about that. Your choice is who picks your lawyer, you or L&I.
- There may be a lot of money involved here. Don’t let L&I’s lawyer represent you – they have a conflict of interest. It makes a difference who your lawyer is.
- If you miss the election deadline, contact an L&I lawyer. There may still be time to get this done.
- If you ended up with an L&I assigned lawyer and now want your own lawyer, you may be able to change lawyers. See RCW 51.24.070, right of reelection.
Why does L&I want this Third Party Election 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 too much of your third party money.
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