No matter what industry you are in, workplace accidents can happen. In the event of becoming injured at work, it is imperative you know what your next steps should be. This will help you file a successful claim and focus on your recovery. There are many steps in the process the be aware of, making your top priority now to be informed. Use this step-by-step guide from your local Denver workers compensation attorney to lean every step of the process.
Be Proactive, Know Your Company’s Policies
Practicing safe work environment habits and procedures is best to ensure the safety of you and your fellow coworkers. Whether you work in an office or a warehouse, there are always steps you can take to promote a safe work environment. One of the ways you can be proactive now is to review your company’s safety protocol for your workplace. Second, and just as important, become extremely familiar with their workplace injury policy.
In the state of Colorado, by law, public and private employers must have workers’ compensation coverage. This is mandatory for both full-time and part-time employees. It is not a cost that is paid by you as an employee, but something the company takes on.
Additional to having workers’ compensation insurance, your employer must have the “Notice of Employer Injury” poster in the open for all employees to see in an open space. Make time in your day to find your company’s poster if you have not already done so and review it as soon as possible. This will help you become familiar with the process.
Employers with workers’ compensation insurance will have what is called “designated medical providers.” These are a list of doctors and specialists you can see based on your company’s workers’ compensation insurance. Keep the list of designated medical providers in a place easily accessible to you in the event of an injury. This will help you get to the right place as soon as possible. Can’t find your company’s designated medical providers? Ask! It is always best to be as informed as possible.
Immediately After Injury
Workplace injuries can end in a variety of situations. You could receive a minor injury that can be looked at after your shift ends or a more serious injury that requires immediate medical attention.
Upon experiencing an injury, do not see your own primary care physician first. You must go to a designated provider. Failure to do so could result in having to pay your own medical fees. You can always ask if your doctor is a designated provider, but do not make assumptions.
Colorado law states any employee injured on the job must provide their employer a written report within four days. While you may need to leave immediately to a doctor, and speak with your supervisor to inform them, you must do more.
Within that four-day window, you must take time to document the incident in writing. This can be a simple write-up and needs to state your name, your recollection of the incident, how you became injured, and anything you are experiencing due to the accident/injury. Be completely honest and give an accurate representation of the situation to the best of your ability. Lying or exaggeration can lead to a denial of your claim.
Your Employer’s Responsibilities
In addition to the requirement to have workers’ compensation insurance, upon receiving your written accident report, your employer has next steps. Within 10 days, they must contact their workers’ compensation insurance. In this 10-day window, they must file an employer’s first report of injury
form. This report takes your written statement of the accident to send over and kick off the workers’ compensation process.
Some of the information your employer will share on this form includes your personal identification information, wages, any benefits included (such as food or boarding), details about the accident, and more. They will also note if you went directly to see a doctor or if you had to visit an emergency room. Your employer will also need to keep the incident information for their files.
The Process of Reviewing Your Claim
Upon submitting the claim and first report of injury form, your company’s insurance company will review your claim. The insurance company must provide a response regarding your claim within 20 days. All details will be included such as acceptance or denial of the claim, as well as what your compensation benefits are. If accepted, your medical expenses will be paid.
If your claim has not been accepted, you have options. A Denver workers’ compensation attorney explains how to appeal a denied claim
, which will walk you through the process.
Explanation of Wages
As an employee in the state of Colorado, you must use any sick time you have for the first three days after an injury. Once you have been out of work for three days, or 24 hours away from work, this is when benefits kick in. If you do not have sick time, any vacation or other time will be used.
From here, you may receive temporary or permanent partial disability.
As you go through a workers’ compensation process, Mark A. Simon is a premier attorney at law that will help every step of the way. From denied claims to questions, he will ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to. As your go-to workers’ compensation expert, Mark A. Simon will help you know your rights as you work through the process. Call today for your consultation at 303-321-HURT.
- Temporary Disability: This will begin once you have exceeded the three days of not being able to work. You will receive pay on a bi-weekly basis until you return to work. If you are completely unable to work, you will receive temporary total disability. If you are cleared for certain job duties but must work part-time or can only perform limited duties, you will receive temporary partial disability. These benefits will cease once you are cleared to return to work, if the designated provider concludes that you have received all services for your injury, you do not show for your scheduled appointments or more.
- Permanent Partial Disability: If you sustain an injury that will impact your quality of life and ability to work permanently, you may be eligible for ongoing benefits due to that injury.