Workers’ Comp Lawyers in Wheat Ridge, CO
Unfortunately, workplace accidents happen every day. These accidents can cause serious injuries that are traumatic and long-lasting. If you suffered from an injury at work, you may think that your employer has your back and will help get you through this tough time, but oftentimes, employers and their insurance companies try to avoid paying the full benefits their employees are entitled to. Employees are then forced to fight for the compensation they rightfully deserve.
If you have been injured at work, the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Ramos Law are here for you. We represent clients throughout Wheat Ridge and can help ensure that your interests are protected. Call us today at (720) 580-8333 for a complimentary consultation.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Colorado workers’ compensation laws are in place to ensure that workers’ health, rights, and livelihood are protected when an injury happens at work. Colorado established workers’ compensation laws in 1915 through the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act. The laws state that an employee is eligible to receive compensation for their losses if they are injured, develop a medical condition, or die from performing work duties.
The workers’ compensation system is like a compromise between employees and employers. In Colorado, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that, even if the employee was negligent and this negligence caused the workplace injury, the employee will still be entitled to compensation for their medical bills and lost wages. However, with the no-fault system, the employee typically relinquishes their right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer in civil court.
Colorado’s workers’ compensation laws provide employees with compensation for expenses related to their workplace injury or illness, including:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses such as costs associated with emergency room and hospital visits, drug prescriptions, required surgeries, ongoing treatment, travel for treatment, rehabilitation, and retraining
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), Temporary Total Disability (TTD), Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), and Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
- Survivor benefits for the family, including funeral and burial expenses, if the employee was killed in a work-related accident
What To Do After a Workplace Injury
Seek Medical Attention
Your health is your first priority. With a life-threatening or traumatic injury, the quicker you seek medical attention the better chance you have of preventing further injury or loss. Have someone contact emergency medical personnel and follow the instructions of onsite medical providers or emergency personnel on the telephone. Once at the hospital, tell the doctor that the injury occurred at work so it will be documented properly.
If your injuries do not require EMS, see a doctor from your employer’s list of designated providers as soon as possible.
Report the Injury
You must give written notice to your employer that you were injured in a workplace accident. You have four business days to report the injury to your employer but even if you were injured more than four days ago, you should still notify your employer in writing as soon as possible. Keep a copy of the written notice for your records.
Your written notice to your employer should include:
- Your name
- Your injury
- The date, time, and place the injury occurred
After receiving your written notice, your employer has up to seven business days to provide you with a list of doctors that you can choose from to receive treatment. Be sure to follow the doctor’s orders and advice and do not miss any following appointments with your physical therapist or other health care professional.
Document the Injury and Gather Evidence
Having evidence to support your workers’ comp claim is vital. You should write down as much information about the accident as soon as possible while it is fresh in your mind. Include what happened and how. Keep copies of any evidence for your records. Our workers’ compensation attorneys know how to build a strong claim and can assist you with compiling evidence. Evidence may include:
- Photos of your injuries
- Photos of the scene of the accident
- Timestamps that show you were on the clock when the accident occured
- Eye-witness testimonies
- Security camera footage
- Maintenance reports of equipment (if any were involved in the accident)
File a Timely Claim
After you give written notice to your employer, you must then file a Workers’ Claim for Compensation form (WC 15) with the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). Even though you have up to two years from the date of your injury to file a claim, we recommend filing as soon as possible. Two copies must be mailed or delivered to:
Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation
Customer Service Unit
633 17th Street, Suite 400
Denver, CO 80202-3626
Our workers’ comp lawyers are well-versed in handling claims and insurance paperwork — we can help handle your workers’ comp claim so you can focus on healing.
Document All Injury-Related Expenses
Document all missed days from work, all travel, and all out-of-pocket expenses due to your injury. Workers’ comp covers all medical expenses necessary for diagnosing and treating a workplace injury and you are entitled to reimbursement for any injury-related expenses, including reimbursement for mileage and parking related to medical visits and to pick up medications or supplies related to the injury. You must request reimbursement within 120 days of travel. Your employer’s insurance carrier must pay you within 30 days or provide written notice stating why the reimbursement was denied.
Resolve Your Claim
If you disagree with your employer’s insurance carrier about their benefits payment or another matter, you can request a hearing with the Office of Administrative Courts. The Prehearing and Settlement Conference Unit can also help resolve any pre-litigation issues, such as discovery (the exchange of evidence) or help mediate a settlement between parties. It is in your best interest to have a skilled workplace injury lawyer represent you to ensure your rights are protected.
How Our Wheat Ridge Workers Comp Attorneys Can Help
Although most employees are entitled to workers’ comp benefits for a work-related injury or illness, employers and their insurance companies may try to make it difficult to obtain benefits or try to pay the least amount as possible.
Insurance companies and/or employers may try to argue that:
- You were willfully negligent and did not follow proper safety procedures
- You did not wear the proper personal protective equipment
- You are lying about your ability to perform certain types of physical labor
- You were intoxicated with alcohol or drugs when the accident occurred
Workers’ compensation laws and the process for filing a claim can be complex, and employees often do not know their rights. After a work injury, you should be focused on your recovery, not fighting with your employer or their insurance company. That’s why you need to hire a lawyer who is highly skilled and experienced in workers’ comp claims to fight on your behalf.
At Ramos Law, we are committed to making sure you get the best possible representation. Dr. Joseph Ramos is an attorney and also a board-certified Emergency Department medical doctor. He and his legal team understand your injuries and what you are going through. You can count on our workers’ compensation attorneys to be in your corner. We know that these issues can be difficult and confusing, and we are here to help. Our work injury lawyers can assist with your initial claim, guide you through the entire process, and answer any questions you may have.
Our attorneys have represented employees in all types of work injury claims, including:
- Workplace slip-and-fall accidents
- Workplace explosions and fires
- Work-related auto accidents
- Back and neck injuries
- Injuries from falling objects
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries
- Illnesses caused by exposure to chemicals
- Permanent partial or total disability claims
- Fatal workplace injuries
We have experience handling all types of workers’ compensation cases. Our team understands how the system works and knows what it takes to help you obtain a favorable outcome.
Contact Our Wheat Ridge, CO Workers’ Comp Lawyers
With Dr. Joseph Ramos’ experience in the legal field as well as having treated thousands of patients as a former ER doctor, he has the unique ability to understand your claim from two important perspectives. He and the entire team at Ramos Law always put our clients first and we are proud of our reputation for honesty, hard work, integrity, and fairness. We truly believe there is no one better to represent you in your Wheat Ridge, Colorado workers’ compensation claim.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a workplace accident and sustained serious injuries or losses, call Ramos Law now at (720) 580-8333 or contact our lawyers for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.
Workers’ Compensation Law FAQs
Understanding the basics of workers’ compensation can help you as you work with your attorney to file a workers’ compensation claim.
The benefits you are eligible to receive depend on your injury and whether you have a permanent condition because of your injury. Generally, workers’ compensation benefits cover all injury-related expenses and may include lost wages, medical expenses, disability, and death benefits for the family if the employee was killed in the work-related accident. The amount and type of benefits you receive depend on the wages you earned from all employers prior to the injury, your ability to return to work, and the degree of any permanent injury. Workers’ compensation in Colorado does NOT provide compensation for pain and suffering. Disability/wage loss benefits are capped at a certain amount.
If you do not fully recover from the injury, you may receive compensation for a permanent disability including an amount for scarring and/or disfigurement. The amount you receive is based on statutory limits for compensation.
You have four business days to provide your employer with a written notice of your work injury. If you were injured more than four days ago, report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. Include your name, injury, and the date, time, and place the injury occurred.
If your employer has a company doctor you must see this doctor, or you may choose a doctor from your employer’s list of designated providers. This does not mean you will not be allowed to obtain a second opinion if necessary; however, you need to see the company doctor first.
Keep copies of all statements, bills, invoices, and records related to your work accident. If possible, take pictures or have someone take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries. Keep a detailed journal noting dates and details of your recovery and any conversations or acts related to your workplace accident.
Being injured on the job can be very stressful as you worry about your health and worry about how you will provide for your family if you are not working. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you as you navigate the process to file a workers’ compensation claim. A workers’ compensation claim can be complicated if you are required to attend hearings and fight for your right to receive compensation. Even though your employer and its insurance provider must work within workers’ compensation laws, you need an advocate to ensure that your best interest remains the top priority in your workers’ compensation claim.