Protecting Your Rights to Workers’ Comp After a Workplace Accident
Workers’ compensation benefits in Colorado are designed to compensate workers who:
- Have been involved in an on-the-job accident
- Have been hurt off of their normal worksite while performing a required work duty
- Develop a repetitive stress injury such as carpal tunnel or a herniated disc while on the job
- Develop an overexertion injury due to on-the-job stresses
- Become ill as a result of exposure to toxins or chemicals in the workplace
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to cover your medical costs, such as doctor and hospital bills and medical therapies, as well as provide for you if your work-related illness or injury renders you unable to work either temporarily or permanently. You are also eligible to receive benefits for partial disability if your work-related illness or injury causes you to switch to a job that pays less money.
What to Do After a Workplace Accident
If you experience an accident at the workplace, it is important that you take care of your health and also that you do not do anything that could inadvertently harm any claims you make for workers’ compensation.
There are rules that both you and your employer must follow. A Colorado Springs workers compensation attorney is in the best position to advise you of your rights and obligations after a workplace accident. The following, however, gives you an idea of how to proceed after the incident and what to expect of your employer.
Take care of yourself first.
Your health and safety always comes first. Sometimes an accident on the job appears minor, but later it turns out the injuries were serious. If you are in a work-related accident or are otherwise injured on the job, do not do anything that could make your injuries worse. If there is any possibility that moving could make you worse, stay put and call for help. It is also important to seek immediate medical attention if you think you cannot wait to see a doctor. If you have any doubts, call the paramedics.
Report your injury to your employer immediately.
You have four business days to report your injury to your employer under Colorado law. Failure to meet this deadline won’t necessarily result in a denied claim, but delays in reporting your injury could cause problems for your case.
Collect information about witnesses.
Be sure to get the names of any witnesses to the accident. Also take note of the time and place of the accident and the circumstances surrounding it.
Follow your employer’s instructions regarding medical attention.
Your employer will have a list of medical providers they work with. Be sure to get instructions from your employer regarding what doctors or providers are on this list and make an appointment with a provider as soon as possible.
Be honest about your injuries.
Sometimes people are reluctant to talk about the severity of injuries, but it is important to be as honest and forthcoming as possible with the doctor. Even if you have minor pain or discomfort, be sure to note it on the pain diagram. Sometimes pain and mobility worsen over time and the failure to mention the full extent of your injuries could adversely affect your claim later.
Follow doctors’ orders.
If you are told to restrict activity, follow those instructions. Do not perform job tasks or other activities that you have been advised to avoid.
Consult With a Colorado Springs Workers’ Compensation Attorney
The tips provided above are just a few of the immediate concerns you need to be aware of after a workplace injury. Recovering the right amount of workers’ compensation can be tricky and many times insurance companies will do all they can to deny a claim.
A Colorado Springs workers’ compensation attorney at Levine Law will be able to answer any questions you have and can advise you on how to proceed with your claim. For a free initial consultation, call 719-471-3000 or visit us online.