L&I Claims – The Complete Guide to Job Injuries for Injured Workers in Washington State

My L&I Claim Has a Problem

Welcome to the club.  Many L&I claims have problems. To solve L&I problems find the law, understand your choices, and be smart about the decisions you make.

  • Be clear about your claim problem(s)
  • Read about the laws and regulations that control those problems
  • Learn about your rights
  • Make smart decisions and take action likely to solve the problem
  • Look over this page carefully and find links to the information that will help your L&I claim.

Hurt on the Job – What Do I Do?

  • See a doctor
  • File an L&I claim within the Statute of Limitations
  • Take care of claim problems as they arise. Get help if you need it
  • Secure time loss
  • Continue your medical care and get well
  • Return to work or get vocational training
  • Settle your L&I claim

How To File an L&I Claim in Washington State

  • See a doctor and in his office you and he together fill out the Report of Accident (ROA) form. The doctor should have the forms and file this paperwork. The important part is to see a doctor who listens, cares, and wants to help you with your L&I claim.
  • Online via L&I’s FileFast tool.
  • By phone: 877-561-3453 (FILE).
  • If your employer is self insured you will need a form from human resources or the doctor can file the form here  Provider’s Initial Report (PIR) (F207-028-000).

Is there a Time Deadline to File a Claim?

What is the Statute of Limitations?

The Statute of Limitations (SOL) is a time deadline by which you must file a report of injury to start your L&I claim. This is a very important deadline.

For an injury, the SOL is one year. You must file your claim within one year or you will lose your right to do so. RCW 51.28.050

For an occupational disease the SOL is two years, possibly longer. File your claim within two years, and you are timely. If you wait longer you may still have time. See Statute of Limitations (L&I)

You Have a Choice of Doctors

  • Under RCW 51.36.010 the worker is entitled to free choice of treating provider.  This is important! You do not have to use the doctor or work clinic your employer recommends.  
  • Understand this: the doctor who files your claim if he or she continues to treat you will be your attending physician. The attending physician has a lot of say about how much help you are going to get while you are injured. Pick your own doctor carefully. Pick the wrong doctor and you will be sorry.
  • Before you get started ask the doctor’s office if they take L&I claims and treat L&I patients. Some don’t. If they don’t, then find another doctor. L&I Medical Treatment in Washington State.  The right doctor has or can get L&I forms.
  • Be careful about some doctors offices. See the wrong doctor and he or she will ruin your claim.

How Do I Win My L&I Case?

  • Pay attention to L&I orders and other claim information. Take appropriate action. Protest or appeal incorrect decisions.
  • Get professional advice from an L&I lawyer. We offer a free consultation. We’ll tell you what you can do, and give you ideas about how to do it.

L&I Benefits

Getting Healthy and Back to Work

L&I Claim Basics

Timely filing of your claim is very important. Not all L&I claims are the same. The information below will help.

Watch Out For This

L&I claims are complex.  Read this for ideas on what to do and how to avoid a mistake.

Obligations of Injured Workers

The rights of an injured worker are subject to the performance of certain obligations. This means you can lose your rights if you don’t do certain things. At a minimum:

  • You must report your accident to your employer and your doctor.
  • You must file an accident report with L&I or the self-insuring employer within one year of a job injury, or within two years of written notice of an occupational disease. The sooner you file, the better. Your doctor should have these forms.
  • You must always tell the truth when claiming benefits. Giving false information is a crime.
  • You must cooperate with your doctor, employer, vocational consultant, and claims manager.
  • You must comply with certain time deadlines. Pay attention to all paperwork that is sent to you, especially anything titled ORDER AND NOTICE. If you change your address, let L&I or the self-insurer know immediately.

If you miss a deadline, YOU COULD LOSE YOUR RIGHTS. If you don’t know what to do, get help before your rights expire.

How to Contact Us

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(206) 343-1988

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Chris Sharpe

Chris Sharpe

Christopher Sharpe is the go to attorney for injured persons. His law firm is helpful, honest, and knowledgeable about workers' compensation and personal injury law in the State of Washington. Chris has been helping injured Washington State workers for over 40 years. He has built his practice on thoroughly educating, honestly helping, and successfully representing workers throughout Washington State.

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