(1) If a third person, not in a worker's same employ, is or may become liable to pay damages on account of a worker's injury for which benefits and compensation are provided under this title, the injured worker or beneficiary may elect to seek damages from the third person.
(2) In every action brought under this section, the plaintiff shall give notice to the department or self-insurer when the action is filed. The department or self-insurer may file a notice of statutory interest in recovery. When such notice has been filed by the department or self-insurer, the parties shall thereafter serve copies of all notices, motions, pleadings, and other process on the department or self-insurer. The department or self-insurer may then intervene as a party in the action to protect its statutory interest in recovery.
(3) For the purposes of this chapter, "injury" shall include any physical or mental condition, disease, ailment or loss, including death, for which compensation and benefits are paid or payable under this title.
(4) Damages recoverable by a worker or beneficiary pursuant to the underinsured motorist coverage of an insurance policy shall be subject to this chapter only if the owner of the policy is the employer of the injured worker.
(5) For the purposes of this chapter, "recovery" includes all damages except loss of consortium.
[1995 c 199 § 2; 1987 c 212 § 1701; 1986 c 58 § 1; 1984 c 218 § 3; 1977 ex.s. c 85 § 1.]
| Severability -- 1995 c 199: See note following RCW 51.12.120.|