Colorado Springs Workers Compensation LawyersPrint Page
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 117 out of every 10,000 full-time workers suffered serious occupational injuries in 2011 and 4,609 workers lost their lives over the course of the year. Our Colorado Springs workers compensation lawyers know that injuries or deaths can cause serious hardship for Colorado workers and their families, especially if the injury makes it impossible to work.
The laws in Colorado aim to protect workers by making workers’ compensation benefits available to employees who sustain an injury in the course of their employment. Unfortunately, employers and insurers may delay, deny or undervalue your claim. Experienced Colorado Springs workers compensation lawyers from our firm can help you secure the money and benefits you need.
Your Right to Workers Comp Benefits in Colorado
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to every worker who suffers an injury in the course of his employment. Generally, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if:
- You are involved in an on-the-job accident.
- You get hurt off of your normal worksite while performing a required work duty.
- You develop a repetitive stress injury such as carpal tunnel or a herniated disc while on the job.
- You develop an overexertion injury due to the stress of your job.
- You become ill as a result of exposure to toxins or chemicals in the workplace.
In these and other situations where your job damages your health, the law does not require that you demonstrate that your employer’s negligent or careless actions led to your injury. Workers’ compensation benefits are awarded under a strict liability system, which means employers and insurers must compensate injured workers for on-the-job injuries regardless of negligence.
Workers’ compensation benefits include payment of medical bills and costs as well as disability benefits if you cannot work due to your injuries or illness. Moreover, you may be eligible for additional benefits if you have suffered life-altering injuries on the job, such as loss of limbs, vision or hearing, or significant facial scarring. These benefits are available in conjunction with other types of cost recovery, even if you are able to return to work. Finally, if your loved one was killed in a workplace-related accident, you may be entitled to recover wage loss benefits, medical or funeral expenses, or additional compensation for pain and suffering due to this devastating loss. Because there may be more recovery options available than your employer discloses, we encourage you to speak with our workers’ compensation attorneys sooner rather than later.
The Workers’ Compensation Process in Colorado
Filing a workers’ compensation claim in Colorado is a complicated and lengthy process. The process may be summarized as follows:
- Employer Notification and Medical Assessment: The Colorado workers’ compensation program requires that you report any on-the-job injury to your employer within four days. Following this initial notification, you will be required to see a medical provider of your employer’s choosing to diagnose and document your condition.
- Insurer Notification: Your employer will forward your report and the medical provider’s report to its workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
- Initial Decision: Depending on the nature of your injury, your employer’s insurance carrier may need to file an injury report with the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation. The carrier has 20 days from the filing of that report to take one of the following actions:
- Acceptance of Coverage: If the carrier accepts coverage for your claim, the carrier will provide you with information detailing the benefits it agrees to pay. You should review this information with a workers’ compensation attorney, as the amount of type of coverage offered may not be adequate and may not include all benefits you are entitled to.
- Denial of Coverage: If the carrier denies coverage for your claim, it will notify you of its denial of coverage in writing.
- Disputes: If your employer’s insurance carrier denies your claim or if you disagree with the amount of coverage being offered, you are entitled to request a hearing to dispute the carrier’s decision. Your case will be assigned to a workers’ compensation judge, who will schedule a hearing to review your case.
- Hearing: At the hearing, the judge will hear arguments from you and from your employer’s insurance carrier to determine whether you are entitled to coverage and, if so, in what amount. You will have to provide detailed information about your employment and medical history, and you may be required to undergo additional medical examinations to be used as evidence. At any point during the dispute process, you and your employer’s insurance carrier may agree on a lump sum settlement to resolve your claim without a court decision.
- Decision: After the hearing, if no settlement has been reached, the judge will render a decision either approving or denying your claim.
- Appeals: If your workers’ compensation judge denies your claim, our Colorado Springs workers’ compensation lawyers can help you appeal the decision to the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation. If your claim is further denied, you may then pursue appeals through the Colorado state court system.
How Can Colorado Springs Workers Compensation Lawyers Help?
Filing a workers’ compensation claim is not something you should undertake on your own. A knowledgeable and experienced Colorado Springs workers’ compensation attorney can guide you through the claims process step-by-step. He or she will help ensure that you meet all required deadlines and file complete and accurate paperwork, negotiate with your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier, appeal any claim denials, and speak on your behalf in court proceedings. An attorney can also help you negotiate a significantly larger settlement than you would likely be able to secure on your own. Finally, if your accident involved anyone other than yourself and your employer, a workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate any third-party claims. Particularly for complicated or serious injuries, working with an attorney will significantly increase your chances of success and recovery.
Contact the Experienced Legal Team at Levine Law
In most cases, a workers’ compensation claim is the only way to take action against your employer as a result of a work-related injury since Colorado laws typically prevent you from filing a personal injury lawsuit.
At Levine Law, our goal is to ensure that you receive the full benefits you deserve as a result of your work injury. If you are applying for benefits, have had benefits denied, have been treated unfairly by an employer trying to force you back to work, or are in the process of appealing your workers’ compensation claim, our legal team can help.
Call us today at 719-471-3000 to learn about the legal services we can provide in relation to your workers’ compensation claim. Your consultation with our top Colorado workers compensation lawyers is free so get in touch with us now.