Understanding Workers Compensation in Colorado
April 1, 2015 | Workers Compensation
Worker’s compensation refers to a no-fault insurance program offered by the state of Colorado. The legislation was put into effect in 1915 and is available to the majority of Colorado employees. The guidelines and rules involved with the program continually undergo alterations designed to better accommodate injured workers and take into consideration ever-changing medical practices and treatments.
What Is Worker’s Compensation?
Workplace injuries cost companies across the country more than $100 billion every year. In exchange for providing employees with compensation for work-related injury, illness, death or lost wages, employers protect themselves from facing more expensive lawsuits. State law mandates that every employee carry workers compensation Colorado insurance. The program serves to compensate employees who become victims of work-related injuries and illnesses. If deemed eligible after filing a claim, employees receive monetary benefits to help cover medical expenses or lost wages. Some of the many conditions covered by the insurance include:
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Hearing or vision loss
- Joint damage
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Partial or total impairments
- Permanent or temporary disability
The money received in benefits covers a variety of expenses that include diagnostic testing, medications, supplies and medical treatment; mileage costs to and from medical appointments; lost wages if unable to work for four or more consecutive days and death benefits for surviving family members.
What to Do in the Event of Injury
When injured at work, it is vitally important that employees notify employers as soon as possible. If the incident causes life-threatening injuries, employees should immediately seek medical treatment and inform the employer within four business days. When an injury is not an emergency, inform a supervisor or the employer before seeking treatment. Keep in mind that notifications must be both verbal and written. Depending on the employer, the employee may be required to get medical assistance from a health care provider of the company’s choosing.
Employee eligibility for worker’s compensation in Colorado is determined by the Department of Labor & Employment’s Division of Workers Compensation Office of Administrative Courts. After filing a claim, decision delays may occur. An attorney experienced in worker’s compensation laws may be able to hasten the process by correcting any issues in advance. Lawyers also have knowledge of the laws involved that require full and prompt payment. Employers may dispute the seriousness of injuries, or employers and insurance companies may pressure employees to complete the necessary forms quickly, which can also lead to errors and subsequent denials. A lawyer can help with the paperwork process and ensure that employees include the necessary information. In the event of a claim denial, employees have the right to request a hearing before a judge. An attorney offers claimants legal representation in case coverage is denied despite having serious injuries.
With qualified legal representation, employees have a greater chance of receiving the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one fall victim to a work-related injury or illness, contact a worker’s compensation Colorado insurance attorney.