Colorado Workers' Compensation Attorneys
Unfortunately, being injured is a risk of any job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost three million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in the private sector during 2014. During the same year, private sector employers reported 4,679 fatal work injuries.
To ensure that injured workers receive compensation for their damages, Colorado’s workers’ compensation laws provide benefits to employees to compensate them for medical expenses, lost wages, permanent disability, and disfigurement. Understanding these laws can be complex; therefore, you should always consult with an experienced Colorado workers’ compensation lawyer if you are injured at work.
What Is A Worker’s Compensation Injury?
Colorado workers’ compensation laws state that a worker who is injured, develops a medical condition, or dies while at work or performing work duties, is eligible to receive compensation for his or her losses.
Common Examples of Workers’ Compensation Injuries
Examples of situations where an employee may be entitled to compensation under Colorado’s workers’ compensation laws include:
- Developing a condition from a repetitive action such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
- An unintentional or intentional injury caused by a co-worker such as a co-worker failing to secure the ladder that you used to climb to the second floor of a construction site.
- An injury caused by another person who is not an employee such as an automobile accident while you are delivering parts to a buyer.
- A fatality or injury incurred due to the work environment such as the employer’s failure to secure electrical lines properly.
- Permanent lung disease or loss of vision due to hazardous materials used to perform your work or used on the worksite.
- Accidently falling while you are stacking materials or removing items from a shelf.
- Tripping over torn flooring moving from your desk to the copy machine.
- Aggravating a pre-existing medical condition due to the work environment.
It is impossible to cover every situation and scenario that may result in a workplace accident. The bottom line is that if you are injured on the job, you must take steps to ensure that your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits is protected.
Colorado Workers' Compensation Law Frequently Asked Questions
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 for your workplace injury depends on your injury and depends on whether you have a permanent condition because of your injury. In most cases, all medical expenses related to the injury are paid by the employer and/or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier and you will receive temporary disability payments based on two-thirds of your average weekly wage while you are being treated for your workplace injury.
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. Because the insurance company for your employer will seek to pay the least amount possible, you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you are receiving the maximum compensation allowed under Colorado’s workers’ compensation laws.
Seek Immediate 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. If your injuries are not severe enough to require EMS, see a doctor as soon as possible.
File an Accident Report with Your Employer. Many employers have a procedure for reporting an injury at work. If so, follow the procedures for filing an accident report with your employer. In any case, you have four days under Colorado’s workers’ compensation laws to report an accident to your employer. You should report the accident immediately both verbally and in writing. Request a copy of the written accident report for your records.
See the Company Doctor. Some employers have designed a specific medical provider for workers’ compensation claims. If so, you must see this doctor. 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 Records. 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 Colorado 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 remain as the top priority in your workers’ compensation claim.