Workers’ Compensation in Colorado
Workers’ comp (known also as workmans compensation, work compensation, and workers’ compensation) in Colorado is a system that tries to provide a remedy in the form of replacement income and medical treatment to workers injured at accidents in the workplace, or who become ill as a result of worksite conditions. Be advised that all employers in Colorado who employ one or more full or part time workers must have workmans compensation insurance. Employers need not have work compensation insurance for independent contractors.
If you are injured or become ill at the workplace, your claim should be filed with the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation within a certain time period. There are some workmans comp claims that require the assistance of legal counsel because they can be complex. For instance, if your boss is uninsured, underinsured, uncooperative, or disputes your claim, filing your claim and receiving benefits can become more difficult. A Colorado work compensation attorney will be able to help you prove your injury and argue your claim effectively.
Illnesses and Injuries Covered Under Colorado Workers’ Compensation Law
Accidental Physical Injuries
- Workers’ comp law protects workers who are injured because of accidents that occur at the worksite, such as tripping, falling, or slipping. However, there are some kinds of accidents that are not covered, such as an employee’s self-inflicted injuries, injuries that result from an employee’s intoxication or drug use, and/or injuries that result from a worker disobeying an employer’s rules or state statutory requirements.
- Exposure to hazardous conditions or repetitive motions that cause injury or illness. Occupational illnesses may include carpal tunnel syndrome, dermatitis, asbestosis and encephalopathy.
- Benefits may be paid to dependents of a worker whose death results from an occupational injury or disease.
The Colorado Worker’s Comp Claims Process
- Notify Your Boss
- Immediately tell your boss about your injury or illness, or risk losing work compensation benefits, or delaying your benefits.
- Your employer must file an Employer’s First Report of Injury form with the Division of Workers’ Compensation within 10 days of being notified of the injury or illness by the employee. The statute of limitations for Colorado workmans compensation claims is two years. Your claim will be barred if it is not filed within this time period and you will lose your right to medical and income benefits.
- Get Medical Help Promptly
- A Colorado Work Compensation Attorney can advise you on how to file a claim, tell you what to do if your claim is disputed, and provide any additional assistance you require.
Benefits Received in Colorado Under the Workers’ Compensation Program
Workmans comp benefits in CO include:
- Medical Treatment: Payment for physician, hospital, and other treatment for the employee’s occupational injury or illness. Your employer’s insurer should pay the person who provided the healthcare benefits.
- Wage Reimbursement: Compensation for wages lost during travel to and from injury/illness related medical appointments, time spent in appointments, and time spent in hearings pertaining to your workers’ comp claim.
- Funeral: As much as $7,000.
- Death: When the employee dies as a result of his work-connected sickness or injury, his dependents may claim death benefits. In order to recover death benefits, the dependents must file a Dependents’ Notice and Claim for Compensation (Form WC18).
- Vocational Rehabilitation: The Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation can help workers whose injuries or illnesses prevent them from returning to their old jobs retrain for and find a new job.
- Income Benefits: There are several varieties of benefits to replace income in CO:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD for short): When you are temporarily totally disabled and cannot work you are eligible for weekly payments of two-thirds your pre-injury average weekly wage.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (or TPD for short): Occurs when a claimant returns to work while he is still recovering from his injury, and can perform some, but not all of his former duties and is being paid at a reduced rate. Workers in this situation can receive the difference of two-thirds of their average weekly wage rate pre and post injury.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD for short): A job-related injury or sickness makes it impossible for an employee to ever work again. The employee will be entitled to PTD benefits of 2/3 of the worker’s average weekly wage prior to the injury for the remainder of his life.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD for short): The employee will no longer improve medically, and will permanently be affected by the injury. Benefits are calculated by the multiplication of the number of weeks specified on the schedule for the impaired body part, the impairment rating, and the statutory rate.
Talk to a Colorado workers’ comp attorney about these benefits.
Why Hire A Colorado Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
There is a great deal at stake in workmans compensation cases, and yet workmans comp cases can be incredibly complicated. Because they are complicated, it is essential that you find a Colorado workers’ comp lawyer to help you through the process of filing a claim, developing a strategy, and explaining your possible compensation benefits and options. A Colorado work compensation lawyer can further be at your side to persuasively argue your case, and look for evidence that may help you with your claim. This is especially true if there was a third person partially responsible for your accident, or if a manufacturer is responsible because their defective product caused your accident and subsequent injury.
Colorado Workers’ Compensation Statutes
Provisions in the Colorado Revised Statutes that relate to work compensation:
- Employers Subject To Workers’ Compensation
- Workers’ Compensation, Tit. 8, Art.41.
- Covered Employees
- Workers’ Compensation, Tit.8, Art.41.
- Workers’ Compensation, Tit.8, Art.42 §§ 105-107.
- Claims Procedure
- Workers’ Compensation, Tit. 8, Art.43 §§101,103.