How Long Do I Have To File A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
There is a two-year statute of limitations from the date that you were injured, or from the date that you knew or should have known that you were injured. If you have an occupational disease, you may not realize that you have an occupational disease for some time. I highly recommend that you report your injury as soon as possible because the longer you wait to report it, the more often insurance carriers will deny the claim suing the argument of delayed reporting.
You may have heard that you only have four days to report your injury. That is not correct. If you know of an injury and you don’t report it in writing within four days, the insurance company can argue that you are not entitled to your lost wages until the day you reported your injury. It is very important to report your claim as soon as possible, no matter how minimal you think it is.
What Is The Step By Step Workers’ Compensation Claims Process?
The Workers’ Compensation claims process has a few different steps. The first thing you should do is to report your injury in writing to your Human Resources Department. A lot of people tell their supervisor about the injury, and the supervisor is not necessarily the employer’s Workers’ Compensation representative. It doesn’t help if the supervisor doesn’t know how to handle the Workers’ Compensation process (which happens more often than you think!) and the employer then says you never reported it. The best thing to do is write down how you were hurt, make a copy of your written statement, and then give the written statement to Human Resources. Emails are good because you have a record of notifying the employer.
If you report an injury to your employer and you get the run around, I highly recommend that you contact an attorney right away. You can bypass the employer and its insurance carrier and file a Worker’s Claim for Compensation directly with the State of Colorado. Once you do that, the State of Colorado Division of Worker’s Compensation contacts the insurance company and the employer, and they are required to admit or deny liability for your claim within 20 days.
What Damages Am I Able To Recover In a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
When you are injured on the job, there are several benefits that you can recover as part of your Workers’ Compensation claim. First, you have medical benefits to cure and relieve the effects of the injury. Second, you have your lost wages. Those are covered by temporary disability benefits. You get temporary total disability benefits if you are completely off work as a result of the injury. If you are only working part-time as a result of the injury you are entitled to temporary partial disability benefits. In that situation the employer pays you for the time you are working and the insurance carrier pays you for the time that you are not at work as a result of the injury.
You are also entitled to permanent disability benefits. Those come in two different forms. Permanent partial disability benefits are payment to you for any permanent loss to your body as a result of the injury if you are capable of returning to work. If you are incapable of returning to work and earning “any wage “as a result of this injury, then you can seek permanent total disability benefits. For Permanent Total Disability, you are seeking lost wages and medical care for life as a result of your injury.
You are also entitled to what are called maintenance medical care benefits for whatever period your doctor recommends. Lots of times a doctor will recommend minimal to no maintenance care. It’s important when you go to those final appointments with your authorized treating physician, that you request any maintenance medical care which you feel may help you in the future. There are also other benefits that you may be entitled to, including disfigurement, mileage reimbursement, and change of physician within the first 90 days. The most commonly used benefits are medical benefits, lost wages, and permanent disability.
For more information on Timeline to File Workers’ Comp Claim, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (303) 900-7274 today.
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