The majority of employers in Washington are required to provide their employees with workers compensation benefits when they are injured in a work-related accident or become ill due to the circumstances of their work environment.
But that doesn’t always mean obtaining access to these benefits is an easy process. In fact, there are many situations in which the most deserving of employees are denied the benefits they rightfully deserve.
Take the delivery driver who was in a Spokane crash. Since he was working when he was involved in a car accident, he should have been able to collect workers compensation benefits for the broken leg he suffered. Instead, his employer argued he was not entitled to workers compensation benefits because he was in between deliveries when he was involved in a car accident.
Ultimately, the delivery driver was not able to get his workers comp benefits because he opted not to fight back against his denied claim.
There was also the instance of the construction worker who was diagnosed with mesothelioma after years of work in the construction industry. His employer fought back against his workers compensation claim and claimed that he was exposed to asbestos in the home he lived in more than a decade ago and not through the work he did in construction over the years.
His home from 10 years ago did have asbestos, which his employer knew because he complained to them about it at the time, but it was more likely that his asbestos exposure was caused by his exposure in working with countless properties built in the 60s.
After more than three years of back and forth with the insurance company, he was finally able to obtain the benefits he desperately needed while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.
The truth is that insurance companies never want to pay out on claims because it costs them money to do so. They’ll look for any reason they can to deny a claim, even if an employee would be deserving of the benefits. These employees will either struggle to cope with the denial or get a lawyer to help them appeal their denied claim.
Unfortunate workers compensation situations happen all across the country, but the best way to prepare for situations like these is to know your rights and be prepared to fight for them if it really comes down to it.