Legal Question in Workers Comp in Washington

forced medical leave after 3 months

I was injured in September 2006. Heavy lifting caused a disc herniation with annular tear. Filed a workers comp claim (employer is self-insured). All the treatment is paid so far and there have been no problems.

I only missed one day of work after the injury and returned back to work for 3 weeks of desk duty only to be followed by light duty with specific restrictions.

Times missed from work for doctor visits and physical therapy were initially taken from my vacation time. Later I completed FMLA papers and am now able to use my sick-time for these appointments.

Now after almost 4 months the employer is saying they are no longer able to accomodate light duty for me and want me to go on a medical leave. This medical leave would be unpaid, since I have used up most of my benefit hours for this injury already. My doctor has not realeased me back to work yet.

I am completely unclear about my options and benefits I might be entitled to.

Asked on 1/24/07, 4:42 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Paul Bryan Paul W. Bryan, Attorney at Law

Re: forced medical leave after 3 months

You are entitled to time loss, or temporary total disability, as it is called. You should go to the Department of Labor and Industries website for basic definitions of your rights. Talk to your claims administrator and if you feel you are getting the runaround, call the self insurance section at DLI. If still nothing, then a lawyer would be appropriate. You should find out now ASAP if they are going to deny you time loss. It can take a long time to get payments if the employer is reluctant.

You may contact my office if you would like a consultation. Hope this helps,

Yours Truly,

Paul Bryan

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Answered on 1/31/07, 3:00 pm

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