A workplace crush injury most commonly occurs when a worker, or part of a worker’s body, is caught between two large pieces of machinery. A crush injury can be fatal; when not fatal, it may cause debilitating complications. For those who have sustained a crush injury while working and are unable to return to the workforce, Washington workers’ compensation law can provide the lifelong benefits to which you’re entitled.
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Complications from a Crush Injury in Olympia
For workers in industries where heavy objects are present, crush injuries are more common. They involve force or pressure put on a body part, crushing it and causing damage to various body structures. A crush injury may cause various symptoms and complications like those listed below.
- Secondary infections
- Nerve injuries
- Serious muscle, blood vessel and tissue injuries (compartment syndrome)
Of the damages listed above, nerve injuries, serious infections, compartment syndrome and fractures are often the most serious. These injuries may cause permanent impairment for a worker, rendering the worker disabled for the remainder of his or her life in severe cases. Often, these injuries are often associated with high medical bills.
Crush Injuries and Workers’ Compensation in Olympia
In the state of Washington, workers who sustain an injury on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance pays for medical bills related to the work injury and replaces a portion of the worker’s lost wages. When a worker sustains a permanent disability from a workplace injury, though, the benefits are slightly different.
For workers who have either lost the use of two or more of their limbs or have suffered an injury that prevents them from being gainfully employed, permanent disability benefits (pension benefits) are available.
A pension is paid in the form of a monthly benefit amount and must be updated once per year via the “Declaration of Entitlement” form provided by the Department. If the form is filled out truthfully and in full, then the benefits are available to a person throughout the duration of his or her permanent disability. Keep in mind that medical coverage may not be available once the pension goes into effect, except in cases where treatment is required to protect the worker’s life.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Benefits
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you can file your claim for workers’ compensation benefits online. Filing a claim online usually takes 20 to 40 minutes. If you don’t have access to the Internet or prefer to file a claim offline, you can file your claim via phone. Before filing your claim, it is important that you seek medical treatment and inform your employer of the injury.
Third-party Liability Suit for Damages
While workers’ compensation law typically prevents a worker from filing a personal injury claim for damages against the employer, if a third party was responsible for the crush injury, the injured worker may file a third-party liability claim for damages. If a third-party liability claim is successful, a worker may be able to recover many of the same benefits he or she would under a traditional workers’ compensation claim, as well as other damages like pain and suffering benefits.
Why Hire a Workplace Accident Attorney in Olympia
If you are unable to return to work because you have been permanently disabled by a workplace injury, you need an attorney to help file your workers’ compensation claim or to help file a third-party liability lawsuit for damages. At Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC, our attorneys are committed to making sure you get the legal representation that you deserve. Call our offices today for a free, no-obligation consultation at 844-920-2438.