Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers’ Compensation Attorney In Denver And Breckenridge, CO
Let us guide you through every step of the legal process, to ensure that your claim matches up to what you deserve financially. Contact us; we return inquiries promptly, and we will never charge you unless we win your case. Our firm strives to help clients restore balance and harmony in their lives, after a workplace injury or accident situation causes a disruption. We understand these events cause financial hardship and extreme stress, and you shouldn’t have to deal with them alone. We have extensive, unparalleled knowledge of Workers’ Compensation in the state of Colorado, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. In the past 100 years, Colorado workers’ compensation law has been modified but the original intent of the Act remains—quick and efficient delivery of medical and disability benefits to injured workers, at a reasonable cost to employers. And that’s exactly what we’ll work to get you!
What You Need To Know About Colorado Workers’ Compensation: A Basic Overview
Millions of Americans go to work every single day. We’re harvesting the fruits and vegetables that will end up on dinner tables from San Diego, California, to Caribou, Maine. We’re manufacturing products in a factory in Kansas. We’re driving the trucks across interstates and county roads. We’re greeting hungry customers with a smile at the local diner. We’re organizers, planners, drivers, farmers, office workers, CEOs and soldiers, and everything in between. Americans are working. We take pride in our work and believe in doing a good job!
Every day, millions of Americans hit the streets and highways, subways and trains; we bike, walk, and maybe even boat to put in a good day’s work at our jobs, whatever they may be. We show up and get the job done! Our companies, businesses, and mom and pop shops count on us to be there, and they need our skills, knowledge, and customer service. But when an accident happens on the job we need to be covered, so those days (or weeks or months) of missed work don’t destroy us financially. An emergency room visit can cost a staggering amount, and extended hospital stays, longer term care, rehabilitation after an injury, etc., well, it can combine to make one awful financial nightmare if you’re paying out of pocket. Injuries can happen unexpectedly, in fact that’s the only way they do. No one expects an injury to happen, for if they did they would take appropriate measures to avoid it. But the fact is, injuries do happen, they happen on the job, and they can happen to you.
When you’re injured on the job you need to get the facts and you need to understand your rights. A Denver, CO workers’ compensation attorney can certainly help you do that. At The Brewer Law Offices P.C., we understand that even one week without pay can be devastating to many American families, and it’s our job to make sure that when an on-the-job injury keeps you from going to work and earning that paycheck, that you’re going to be covered financially by alternative means, and that means—a workers’ compensation claim in Denver, CO.
When an injury happens, there are steps you should take, and we’ll go over those below. But first let’s consider some of the basics of workers’ compensation claims in Denver, CO, to get an understanding of the process and guidelines.
Colorado Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirements
In the great state of Colorado, the established workers’ compensation is based on a mutual agreement between employer and employee and this is referred to as the “exclusive remedy” provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act. The Act is designed to fulfill a couple of specific and important purposes. Let’s consider them.
- To provide all employees with reasonable, swift medical treatment, as well as a partial wage replacement during the time that an injured worker recovers from the damaging effects of their work-related injury, or occupational disease, etc. And in the worst case scenario, if a death occurs, to provide necessary and needed death benefits to any dependent survivors.
- To provide the employers with expected costs for any work-related injuries and/or illnesses. As workers’ compensation coverage is paid by employers, employers need to have an understanding of what is required of them. The process requires that employers purchase insurance coverage via a private qualifying insurance company of their choosing, or (if they meet certain requirements) through some self-insurance programs. Absolutely none of the cost of this insurance can be deducted from employee wages. And in Colorado, specifically, to date, there is no alternative to the standard workers’ compensation coverage. Employers must adhere to the process as mandated by The Division of Workers’ Compensation in the Department of Labor and Employment.
But I Run A Small Business With Just A Couple of Employees, Do I Really Need All This?
The answer, stated simply, is—yes. Colorado law stands to protect every individual from health and financial damages due to their on-the-job accident, occupational disease, or other malady. Whether you’re running a Fortune 500 company with ten thousand employees, or a mom and pop business on Main St., USA with your husband or wife and one employee, Colorado law states that you must provide workers’ compensation coverage for your employees if one or more full or part-time persons are employed, and that includes family members. Many people falsely assume that if it’s a family business that some Colorado laws don’t apply. Colorado law is designed to protect ALL people in all situations, and family businesses are not exempt from providing the same coverage to their family employees as they would for anyone else. And it’s important to remember that anyone hired to provide any type of service for pay is considered to be an employee. Check with your workers’ compensation attorney in Denver to get all the specifics, and learn how Colorado laws apply to your business. There are a few exemptions to the Colorado workers’ compensation insurance requirements, and your workers’ compensation attorney in Denver can help you understand where you fit into the system, and how.
Know Your Number: Impairment Ratings And What They Mean
Your “impairment rating” is typically a number that your attending physician or doctor assigns to your injury. An impairment rating is equated to the percentage of injury that you have to a particular part of your body. The rating, while not the only factor of many factors that have an impact on your claim, is nonetheless an important one, and you must know the facts regarding impairment ratings, how they are calculated, and what it means to your claim or case. Talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Denver to learn more.
Statute Of Limitations, Waiting Periods—Know The Facts, Or Suffer The Consequences
While our state legislators continually craft laws and guidelines to ensure the safety of every Coloradan, all good things must come to an end, at some point. What do we mean by this? Simply put, Colorado law does provide ample protection but there are rules that must be followed in order to collect. If you’ve received a work-related injury or illness you cannot wait around to make your report or file your claim. In order to keep the system running smoothly, Colorado legislators have provided us with a few basic requirements in regard to timing, and they are as follows:
Four (4) days to give a written notice of the work-related injury to their employer in order to receive the maximum benefits
Two (2) years, or Three (3) years with a legitimate and reasonable excuse, to file a claim if their employer fails to do so
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Colorado workers’ compensation statute of limitation and reporting times are not optional. They must be adhered to. If you have any questions, contact your Denver, CO workers’ compensation attorney right away. In regard to Colorado workers’ compensation, timely filing is critical. Don’t make a mistake that could cost you your financial future.
Steps To Take Once You’ve Been Injured On The Job In Denver, CO
If you’ve been injured on the job, do not wait to report the injury to your employer. Under Colorado law, you are required to report the injury in writing within four working days of sustaining the injury; failing to do so could create problems for your workers’ compensation claim and may impede your ability to obtain compensation for your injury. For each day’s delay, you could lose one day’s worth of compensation.
After reporting the injury to your employer, you should seek medical care. Your employer will likely provide you with a list of medical providers from which you may seek care under workers’ compensation insurance. The doctor you choose to see will be considered the authorized treating physician for the injury directly related to the workers’ compensation claim. If your employer does not provide you with a list of medical providers from which to choose, then you may have the liberty of choosing your own doctor. However, such a decision should be made with extreme care, as receiving medical services from a doctor who is not covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance could leave you having to foot the medical bills. When in doubt, seek the advice of a workers’ compensation attorney in Denver or Breckenridge, CO.
Within 10 days of your injury, an Employer’s First Report of Injury should be filed by your employer with their insurer, thereby initiating the workers’ compensation claim. If your employer fails to file the report of injury with their insurer or is uninsured, then you should contact the Division of Workers’ Compensation at 303-318-8700. They will provide you with the proper forms and an address to mail them upon completion. For guidance in this process, contact a Denver workers’ compensation attorney.
- What Has Your Experience Been In Handling Workers’ Compensation Claims?
- What Exactly Is Workers’ Compensation Law?
- What Happens If The Injured Employee Is Partially At Fault?
- What Are Some Complex Workers’ Compensation Cases That You Have Handled?
- What Makes A Repetitive Use Workers’ Compensation Case?
- What Information Should I Share With My Doctor After An Injury?
- How Can We Prove That A Repetitive Use Injury Is Work-Related?
- How Do I Appeal A Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim?
- What Are The Risks Associated With Handling A Workers’ Compensation Case Without An Attorney?
- How Long Has Your Firm Been Handling Workers’ Compensation Cases?
- What Factors Should Be Considered Before Settling A Workers’ Compensation Case?
- How Does Permanent Total Disability Impact A Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
- What Is A Lump Sum Settlement? When Is It Advantageous?
- Does A Settlement Need To Be Approved By The State Workers’ Compensation Agency?
- What Can I Expect If My Workers’ Compensation Case Goes To A Hearing?
- What Is A Compensable Injury?
- What Is Dual Purpose Doctrine?
- Compensability And The “Going and Coming Rule”
- Recreational Activities And Social Events
- Does The Employer Exert Any Control Over This Exercise Program?
- Do People Want to File Premises Liability Or Workers’ Comp Claims?
- Are All Employers Required To Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
- How Long Do I Have To File A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
- Can Someone Receive Both Workers’ Compensation And SSD Benefits?
What To Expect After Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim In Denver, CO
Once you file a workers’ compensation claim, your employer’s insurer will review all of the pertinent information, including the report of injury form submitted by your employer and any statements you’ve made. Based on this evaluation, the insurer will either accept or deny your claim. In Colorado, insurers must adhere to certain time requirements when responding to workers’ compensation claims. For example, if as a result of your injury you have missed more than three days’ worth of work or more than three shifts, then the insurer must inform you of the status of your claim (i.e. accepted or denied) within 20 days of receiving the injury report from your employer.
If your claim is accepted, a carrier claim number will be issued and you will be given the contact information of the insurance adjuster assigned to the case. At that point, you would be entitled to compensation for lost wages associated with the injury as long as you have missed at least three days’ worth of work or three shifts, and your doctor has recommended that you not work. If at any point you have unanswered questions regarding your claim, medical care, or medical costs, you should contact the insurance adjuster. If you have any concerns during this process, speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Denver, CO.
If your claim is denied, you will have a number of options for recourse depending on the nature of the denial. Read more in the section below titled Reasons a Workers’ Compensation Claim Might be Denied and contact a workers’ compensation attorney for assistance moving forward with your Denver, CO or Breckenridge, CO claim.
Reasons A Workers’ Compensation Claim Might Be Denied
There are several reasons a claim might be denied, some of which can be addressed or corrected. For example, if the insurer denies your claim due to insufficient or inadequate information, then you may be able to provide the information necessary to validate your claim. The solution may be as simple as needing to more precisely explain your injury or obtain the necessary medical reports from your authorized treating physician.
If the insurer’s denial of your claim is based on a refutation of the cause of injury, then a more thorough investigation or further proof of injury may be required. If your injury is classified as a type of injury that is not covered by Colorado workers’ compensation laws, then you may be left to pay for all of the expenses associated with your injury. The following injuries will not be covered:
- Injuries that resulted from “horseplay” rather than the duties and responsibilities listed in the employee handbook or job description
- Intentionally self-inflicted injuries
- Injuries that were sustained during an activity that was not due to the employee’s work-related duties
It should also be noted that if an employee is found to have been intoxicated by drugs or alcohol when they sustained the injury, then they will lose a portion of the workers’ compensation benefits to which they otherwise would have been entitled.
If you believe your workers’ compensation claim is being wrongly contested by your employer or their insurer, or if you’ve been accused of “horseplay,” intoxication, or intentionally causing your work-related injury, speak to a qualified workers’ compensation attorney who can review your case and lay out the pros and cons of workers’ compensation litigation in Denver, CO and Breckenridge, CO.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Denver, CO and Breckenridge, CO
If your claim has been accepted, you may be entitled to the following forms of compensation:
- Medical expenses: These include doctors’ visits, hospital stays, diagnostic tests (e.g. x-rays, MRI, CT), prescription medications, and physical therapy.
- Lost wages: If an injury results in lasting effects that cause you to miss work, then you may be given permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. If your injury is so severe that you have been deemed permanently unable to work at all, then you may be given permanent total disability (PTD) benefits in the amount of two-thirds of what you earned prior to the injury.
- Death benefits: If an injury results in death, then the decedent’s family members may be entitled to two-thirds of the amount of the decedent’s weekly wages, although the precise amount awarded will vary based on the closeness of each relative to the worker who passed away.
Ensure that your rights are protected by contacting the compassionate and knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys at The Brewer Law Offices P.C. in Denver, CO and Breckenridge, CO today.
Important questions to consider:
- Have you been adequately compensated for your lost wages?
- Have you received the medical treatment you need to cure and alleviate your injury?
- Have all your medical bills been paid?
- Have you received any permanent disability benefits to which you may be entitled?
- What value does the settlement contain for future medical care?
Issues We Can Handle
At Brewer Law Offices, we have been fighting for worker’s rights since 1992. We have seen a multitude of different cases. Some of the issues we have handled include loss wages, temporary benefits, permanent partial disability as well as permanent total disability. We have successfully gotten our clients adequate medical treatment for a variety of injuries. We also have success in reopening old injury claims.
Although we handle the legal aspects of your case, we also understand that workers’ compensation cases are often personal as well. We’ll always have an open door for you when it comes to concerns, and our goal as legal professionals is to help you get assistance in the areas you need most. This often translates to things such as proper medical care, back pay, and other fair compensation. Let us work alongside you to help navigate the legal channels, and explore the options.
Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation
According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Colorado employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. This insurance provides benefits for workers who are injured in on-the-job accidents or who develop occupational illnesses. With very few exceptions, any work-related injury is covered by workers’ compensation. A few examples of workers’ compensation-covered injuries include: overexertion injuries, injuries from falling objects, slip and fall injuries, vehicle injuries, machine entanglement injuries and repetitive motion injuries.
Our office specializes in this area, and we seek to represent any injured worker. We often handle cases from people in the following fields, although we are by no means limited to these areas in our practice:
- Health care workers and supporting staff
- Research and science industry professionals
- Natural resources employees
- Mining workers
- Oil and gas industry employees
- Construction workers
- Road maintenance employees
- Hospital and living facility employees
- Hospitality industry workers
- Ski area employees
- Retail workers
- Restaurant workers
- Mechanics and maintenance workers
- And more
Get what you deserve! Call Now At (303) 900-7274 For A Personalized Case Evaluation.
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