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Injured on a Construction Job in WA? Here’s What To Do.

What to Do if You’ve Been Injured Working at a Construction Job in Washington State


By Melissa Westberg  |  Senior Associate Attorney  |  Seattle Office

Step 1: Seeking Medical Treatment

First and foremost, if you are injured at a construction site, it is important for you to immediately seek medical treatment. Your primary concern upon being injured should be getting the medical help you need.

Step 2: Knowing Your Rights

All workers in construction have the right to work on a safe work site. The law of Washington state provides significant safeguards for construction workers in order to minimize or eliminate on-the-job injuries. When those safeguards fail, a worker has the right to pursue the responsible party for compensation for their injuries. This right is in addition to the benefits a worker will receive from the Department of Labor & Industries (“L&I”).

Step 3: Opening an L&I Claim

Upon receiving medical treatment, an L&I claim will be opened on your behalf by the healthcare provider. If your claim is accepted, the Department of Labor & Industries will pay for your medical treatment and time loss if you are unable to return to work.

Employers must report to L&I within eight hours a death, probable death, or the inpatient hospitalization of any employee due to an on-the-job injury. When this occurs, the Department will perform an investigation into the accident. The department investigator will want to speak with you to obtain your version of how the accident occurred. It is important that you speak to a lawyer before you are interviewed, if possible.

Step 4: Opening a Third-Party Claim

When you are injured on the job, in addition to having an L&I claim that compensates you for your medical bills and time loss (as well as other benefits), you may also have a third-party claim against an entity that caused your injuries. Third party claims for injuries are those that can be made against the general contractor or a subcontractor, if the general or subcontractor is not the injured person’s employer. Pursuant to Stute v. PMBC, 114 Wn.2d 454, 788 P.2d 545 (1990), a general contractor has a non-delegable duty to assure safety on the job site and has the ultimate responsibility under Washington law for job safety and health at the job site.

If there is the potential that you have a third-party claim, this should be investigated by an attorney immediately so that all evidence can be obtained to prove your case. A third-party claim can be made to help you recover the full damages for your injuries to include claims for pain and suffering damages for which the department does not compensate you under your L&I claim.

GLP Attorneys: Advocacy You Can Trust


If you have been injured while working on a construction jobsite, you should immediately seek medical help and get a qualified lawyer. Construction injury cases can be highly complex, and an experienced construction injury attorney will be able to help you navigate that complexity and get you the compensation you deserve. The lawyers at GLP Attorneys have nearly 40 years’ experience resolving construction injury cases and stand ready to help you.

Give us a call at 800-273-5005 or email our attorneys at attorneys@glpattorneys.com to schedule your free consultation with an experienced construction injury lawyer today.

Click here to learn more about our firm’s Construction Injury practice.

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Injured on a Construction Job in WA? Here’s What To Do.

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