In workmen’s compensation claims, there is a process for everything. In theory, if all the processes were followed properly, injured workers wouldn’t need representation and claims would progress from inception to completion efficiently. In reality, failure to follow the proper process can have significant negative impacts on the progress of a claim.
L&I has a robust and informative website with plenty of resources like pamphlets, manuals, guidelines, handbooks, and forms, all designed to help injured workers, treatment providers, vocational counselors, and other stakeholders successfully navigate L&I claims.
Despite these resources, following proper processes is not always easy. I think this is because of significant variability in the enforcement of the processes and procedures. Some workers’ compensation claims proceed with ease despite none of the proper procedures being followed. Other claims come to a complete standstill because a box on a form was mistakenly ignored.
Frustrations with procedural requirements may be the most common reason why injured workers seek legal representation. As a result, I have learned not to spin my wheels over inconsistencies, and to use my knowledge of the proper processes and procedures to help my clients navigate claims more effectively.