When you are injured on the job, the life that you once lead can come tumbling down around you. You may experience a loss of wages, inadequate medical care, harassment on the job, or even be fired. If you’ve been injured on the job, chances are you don’t know where to start. Colorado’s workers’ compensation laws can be confusing; while laws are in place to protect the rights of employees, the law may side with the employer. It’s important to have a dependable source of council that knows how to approach your claim to maximize the benefits and recovery.
- Per Colorado law, if you are injured on the job you must notify your employer in writing within four working days. If you miss three days of work due to the work-related injury, the 4th day you miss will automatically satisfy the notification requirement for the employer.
- If you have failed to report your injury in writing to your employer after the initial four days, you may be penalized one day’s worth of compensation per day late IF your employer posted a sign that states they require a four days written notice after injury.
- Within ten days of your reported injury, your employer should also file an injury report with their insurance company. However, if your employer does not submit a report, you may file a claim directly with the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
- If you believe you may lose a limb or your life resulting from your work-injury, seek emergency medical attention immediately. For all other injuries, be sure to ask your employer if they have a designated medical provider for workers’ compensation medical care. This is crucial as if you do choose to find your own medical provider, you may end up being responsible for the medical bills.
- If you’ve lost at least three days of work due to a work-injury or illness or if you’ve suffered a permanent physical injury, or death, the insurance company has 20 days from the date the injury is reported to the Division to notify you (or your dependents) whether benefits will be paid or not. Consider this: after the initial date of your injury, it can take up to 34 days for your workers’ compensation to go into effect.
- Medical benefits are paid when the claim is resolved, unless it is denied. If your claim is denied, contact the insurance company; if you believe your claim was denied in error, file an Application for Expedited Hearing. This must be filed within 45 days from the date the Notice of Contest was mailed to you. However, if you haven’t missed three days of work due to your work-related injury, the insurance company is not required to send you a Notice of Contest. Be sure to call and follow up on your submitted claim status.
- Once your claim has been submitted, look over the Colorado Department of Labor’s Timelines. All important dates relating to the claim submission and approval / denial process are outlined.
- If the insurance company accepts your claim, your benefits will be paid the allowed amount as well as additional wage replacement for the lost work (if the total amount of time is less than two weeks). Once the claim is settled, you will be sent a Final Admission of Liability by the insurance company that outlines your medical and disability benefits.
Getting hurt on the job can be one of the most frightening and uncertain periods of your life. You don’t have to face them alone or be at the mercy of your employer or the insurance company. Mark A. Simon
, Attorney at Law, fights for the rights and due monetary compensation owed to workers who live in Denver, and all of Colorado. Give us a call today
to set up a free consultation.