You don't have to hire a lawyer to get a little good legal advice.

Can I Sue L&I

Can I sue L&I? is usually asked by injured workers in one of three situations:

  • I do not have an L&I claim so I need to start an L&I claim.
    If this is your situation, you don’t need to sue L&I, rather you need to  file a claim. See STARTING AN L&I CLAIM
  • I already have a claim, and need to get L&I to do the right thing.
    If this is you, you’ve come to the right place. The “Know Your Rights” section above will get you information ranging from basic to focused. 
  • I have a claim. I’ve tried everythingnd nothing works. I want to sue L&I.
    The news for this situation is not very good. It is very difficult to sue L&I and here is why.

    Your right to sue persons or companies is a basic constitutional due process right. However, L&I is a government agency. Since the Industrial Insurance Act and its implementation is the exercise of police power of the state, the Federal and State Constitutions regarding due process do not apply.

    The Industrial Insurance Act (workers’ compensation law) contains RCWs and WACs which address improper claims management. The courts have generally taken the view that since the legislature has addressed the penalties applicable in such cases, they will not allow the civil courts to have jurisdiction over these matters. That is to say the Act provides the exclusive remedy for L&I claims, and you cannot go outside the Act and sue the Department for negligence based wrongful claims management in the civil courts. If you file a lawsuit, L&I will file a summary judgement and probably win the case before you are allowed to even put on any evidence.

    When can you sue L&I?

    You can possibly successfully sue L&I if you can prove the tort of outrage/bad faith. If the Department’s conduct is so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond the bounds of decency, and is regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community, then it may be possible to survive a summary judgment motion on the exclusivity bar. If you do have a bad faith claim against L&I, there is a statute of limitations deadline you must meet, RCW 4.16.080 and RCW 4.16.130. Consult with a lawyer about this. Contact us

     Whats Next?

  • Things You Need To Know
  • How L&I Compensates You
  • Filing a Workers Compensation Claim
  • Do I Have a Case