L&I & 3rd Party Claims for Temp Worker Injured at Work L&I & 3rd Party Claims for Temp Worker Injured at Work

Can a temporary worker in Washington State have a Claim for a Job Injury?

Yes they can.

They may have an L&I claim and a third party claim.

Can temporary employees have two claims for one injury?

Yes. When a temporary agency employee is injured on the job, they could have two separate claims for that single injury. The two possible claims available to an injured temporary agency worker are:

  • An L&I job injury claim. The staffing agency is the employer.
  • A third-party claim against the job site place of employment. .

Having two claims can be financially rewarding for injured temporary workers. However, two claims add a complexity which must be carefully taken care of if the benefits are to be realized. 

Does L&I workers’ compensation cover me as a temporary worker?

When temporary agencies recruit temporary workers, the staffing agency becomes the employer for the temporary worker.  As the employer, Washington State L&I law requires the staffing agency to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover all injured workers, including temporary workers.

If a temporary employee is injured while working on a temporary agency assignment, they should file an L&I claim for workers’ compensation benefits naming the employment agency as the employer. Do not file the L&I claim against the assigned place of business where the injury occurred. Instead file against the temporary agency’s workers’ compensation policy.

Can temporary workers sue their employer for a job injury?

  • Job Site Place of Employment is the Third Party Which A Temporary Worker Can Sue

Workers injured on the job can  sue a responsible third party. The place where the temporary worker was sent when they were injured is not the employer for L&I claim purposes. The place of employment where the injured worker was sent and the injury happened is a third party. A temporary agency worker can sue a third party. If the assigned place of business was negligent and you got hurt, you have a third party claim and should get legal advice about a third party claim. For important details see Third Party Claims.

  • The Temporary Agency is the Employer Which You Cannot Sue. Instead File a L&I Claim 

Temporary workers injured on the job have an L&I claim. The temporary employment staffing agency is the employer of the temporary worker for L&I purposes.  It is this temporary employment agency which you can not sue for most L&I job injuries. Your remedy against them is an L&I claim. Filing an L&I claim is not suing your employer


These definitions will help understand L&I Law:

  • Temporary Agency = staffing agency = employment agency = placement agency = employer. These are all the same.
  • Assigned place of employment = Job site employer = place of employment = Third Party. Those are all the same. 

How does third-party claim law work for temporary employees?

The place of employment where the agency sent the temporary employee is the third party. 

If that third party’s negligence caused your injury, you have a third-party claim and can sue that company. You will still have an L&I claim, and you also have a third-party claim. Details and rules at Third Party Claims

What is the Third-Party Election Form?

The Third-Party Election Form is a formal notice given by you to L&I to help figure out if you have a third-party claim. It also determines who will be in charge of the third-party claim, you or L&I. Even though L&I is asking, as a practical matter, you don’t have any choice whether you have a third-party claim. 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 handle your third-party claim, your lawyer or their lawyer.

This is an important form that you must complete carefully. Learn more about the third-party election form, choose a reputable lawyer to help you with this form and the third party claim. If you do it yourself, make wise choices.

Is there a A Statute of Limitations for L&I Claims?

Yes there is. A job injury claim must be filed with in one year of the date of injury. An occupation disease claim should be filed within two years of the manifestation of the disease. Statute of Limitations (L&I). 

Is there a Statute of Limitations for Third-Party Claims in Washington State?

Yes there is. The statute of limitations is a fundamental law that sets deadlines controlling third-party lawsuits. The deadline for third-party cases in Washington State  is three years. However, there is no statute of limitations against the State of Washington. The state can bring a third-party claim at any time and may be able to help you if you miss your deadline.  Statute of Limitations in Washington State Personal Injury Law

Contact us for Advice Regarding Temporary Employment Job Injury Claims.

Temporary workers’ L&I injury and third-party claims overlap, and they are complicated. If you’re an injured worker who suffered an on-the-job accident while working as a temporary employee, it is essential to learn about third-party claims and L&I benefits.

We recommend checking out the links below if you want to learn more. Even better, contact Sharpe Law Firm to schedule a free strategy session to discuss your rights, answer your questions, and help you figure out what you can do.

What’s Next?

We recommend reading the following resources to learn more about L&I injury and third-party claims, as well as non-injury-related employment law:

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Chris Sharpe

Meet 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 a successful law practice by thoroughly educating, honestly helping, and successfully representing workers throughout Washington State.

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