If you don’t succeed the first time, then you should try and try again. I think this should be the motto for injured workers dealing with their L&I claim as they navigate their workers compensation claim process and issues.
The Industrial Insurance Act (RCW 51) was created to provide “sure and certain” relief for people injured at work. However, this doesn’t mean that workers’ compensation claims go smoothly or without roadblocks. Far from it. In fact, much of what I do is figuring out the best way to navigate obstacles that arise in L&I claims and self-insured employer claims.
L&I and workers’ compensation claims are full of tough obstacles
Whether it is getting treatment authorized, a condition accepted, or finding resolution to a conflict that has arisen, problem solving is my job. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes problem solving feels more like trial and error. This isn’t because I don’t know what I am doing. It is because over the years I’ve learned that there’s almost always more than one way to solve a workers’ compensation problem. The key is finding the most successful approach, which is usually based on the unique facts and circumstances of the case at hand.
One L&I case in particular
Explicitly, since October, I’ve been trying to solve a series of issues in one particular case. I’ve had difficult conversations with my own client. I’ve had even more difficult conversations with the Claim Manager at the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). Moreover, I had some loud and rough calls with assistant attorney generals and their paralegals representing L&I.
While I was able to get my client on board with some aspects of my plan, other pieces remained an unresolved challenge. On no less than six separate occasions since October, my proposals were formally rejected. Each time, I went back to the drawing board to try and develop a plan that would succeed. I clearly am not allowed to disclose specific details about this case. However, I’m pleased to report that today I managed to successfully resolve all the remaining issues. Interestingly, the solution wasn’t much different than what I had proposed about ten months ago. Yet, this time around, I just needed to take the right approach, at the right time.
Today’s perseverance to try and try again really paid off. I secured time loss compensation benefits to an injured worker that desperately needed them. To satisfy their mounting debt, to make some urgent payments, and to get a brief temporary break. Equally important, we now have some much-needed breathing room. We are already preparing to tackle the next roadblock that we’re anticipating in this complicated L&I claim.