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Denver Workers Compensation Attorney

Workplace injuries are all too common. When employers or insurance carriers deny or minimize a claim, they can be catastrophic. Most workers in Colorado are entitled to compensation after being injured on the job. Obtaining legal representation is, in some cases, the only way to obtain those benefits.

While injured workers must follow specific steps to obtain benefits, no covered employee should be denied coverage. At The Fang Law Firm, P.C., our Denver workers’ compensation attorneys can help.

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Colorado Workers’ Compensation Law

Workers’ compensation laws protect employees when they receive injuries on the job or as a result of their job duties. All Colorado employers must maintain workers’ compensation insurance for all of their employees, with a few exceptions. Workers’ compensation insurance helps injured workers receive medical treatment as well as supplementary income when they take time off to heal.

Sometimes, injuries sustained on the job can be so severe that they require intensive medical care and weeks off from work. This system allows for fair recovery and limited damages for workers harmed on the job.

Process to Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Colorado

If you receive an injury on the job, you must follow the following process to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Colorado.

  • First, you must report the injury to your employer as soon as it occurs. You will have to select a doctor from your employer’s list of providers and receive treatment.
  • Next, you must notify your employer of your injury in writing within four days.
  • Then, your employer must notify the insurance company within ten days of knowing about the injury.
  • Finally, the company will assess the claim and either approve or deny it. Upon approval, you receive benefits.

Despite workers’ compensation laws, many unnecessary barriers may prevent workers from receiving insurance settlements. This process can delay medical treatments and worsen financial hardship for the injured worker.

Many disputes can arise when it comes to workers’ compensation law in Colorado. When you file a claim, you will need to prove that your job or a function of your job caused your injuries. Some employers can cast doubt on your injuries and refuse to file a claim. Others may neglect filing a claim on your behalf altogether.

When this issue arises, hiring a workers’ compensation attorney in Denver can help you receive the benefits you need to recover. The Fang Law Firm can help you accomplish this process by consulting with medical experts about your injuries, analyzing your medical records, and presenting the evidence to your employer and the insurer.

What Types of Injuries are Covered?

As a rule, virtually every injury suffered while an employee is actively engaged in their duties is covered. If there is a question about the validity of a claim, an injured worker is advised to contact a Denver workers’ compensation lawyer.

While the majority of employers and insurance carriers are likely to cover claims without issues, there are simply times when questions arise about where and how an injury occurred. Although most people associate the idea of a workplace injury with blue-collar professions, office workers and other white-collar workers are also injured and entitled to workers compensation benefits.

Denver Workers' Comp Attorney

Types of Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation

First and foremost, workers’ compensation insurance covers the medical expenses directly related to your injury. These costs can include medications, surgeries, doctor’s visits, physical therapy, and other necessary medical procedures. In addition to medical expenses, you can receive benefits to supplement lost wages due to your injury.

Under the Colorado workers’ compensation system, you can receive one of four disability benefits packages based on the severity of your injuries.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD)

If your workplace injury or illness completely and permanently disables you, you qualify for PTD. You receive 2/3 of the average weekly wage you earned at the time of the injury. You receive these benefits for the rest of your life.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)

If you permanently lose function of a body part or body system as the result of your injury or illness, you qualify for PPD. You receive benefits based on a percentage that depends on the degree of your disability. You can either receive benefits from scheduled impairment, which involve some pre-determined body parts and corresponding values, or non-scheduled impairment. The latter option involves disability in body parts not included on scheduled impairment, such as spine, mental function, and lungs.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD)

If your injury or illness is temporary but totally disabling and you cannot receive wages, you qualify for TTD. After you miss three days of work, you receive TTD on the fourth day out of work and receive your average weekly wage as a payment every two weeks.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)

You qualify for TPD if your injury or illness temporarily disables you but you can return to work with modified hours, duties, and wages.

Differences Between Workers’ Comp and a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Workers’ compensation claims are not the same as personal injury lawsuits. Some injuries are strictly personal injury claims, others are strictly workers’ compensation claims, and others can be both. State and federal laws and employment contracts govern these differences.

  • In personal injury cases, you can claim compensation for all economic and noneconomic damages, including pain and suffering. Under workers’ compensation, you can only claim lost wages and medical expenses.
  • You cannot file a lawsuit against your employer once you receive workers’ compensation.
  • With personal injury cases, you have to prove that negligence caused your injuries. With workers’ compensation, proving negligence is not necessary.

FAQs About Workers’ Compensation in Colorado

The Denver workers’ compensation attorneys at The Fang Law Firm receive many questions about filing claims and navigating the compensation process. Here are the answers to a few of our most frequently asked questions.

What do I do after suffering an injury on the job?

Our Denver workers’ compensation lawyers recommend you notify your employer immediately and seek medical care. In many cases, you will have to see a doctor from your employer’s list of providers. You also need to report your injury to your employer in writing within four days of being injured.

What if I want to visit my own doctor?

You may not receive medical benefits if you do not go to one of your employer’s providers. However, you can visit your own doctor if your employer does not direct you to one.

Why did the insurance company deny my claim?

Insurance companies deny many claims due to inaccurate and incomplete information, if they believe the injury is not work-related, or they think the case needs further investigation. Our workers’ comp attorneys in Denver can help you gather detailed information about your injury to submit to the insurer.

What do I do if my employer does not report my injury?

Visit The Fang Law Firm to file your own claim to the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation. You have two years from the injury date to file this claim.

My employer told me that our company does not have insurance. What do I do?

Report your employer to the Division of Workers’ Compensation immediately, even if you do not have an injury. Our Denver workers’ compensation attorneys can guide you through this process.

Workers’ Compensation Statistics

Hundreds of work-related injuries occur every day throughout the United States, including Colorado. Some of these injuries result in extensive medical treatment, while other accidents can result in death. Colorado is not exempt from these occurrences. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Seventy-seven employees died as a result of workplace injuries in Colorado during 2017.
  • The highest cause of fatal workplace injury in Colorado in 2017 was transportation incidents, accounting for 38 deaths.
  • Falls, slips, and trips accounted for the second highest number of fatal workplace injuries with 14 deaths.
  • The third highest cause of workplace death in Colorado was violence and injuries by other employees or animals at 11 deaths.
  • Other causes of fatal workplace injuries include contact with objects and equipment (8 deaths), exposure to harmful environments (3 deaths), and fires and explosions (3 deaths).
Denver Workers Compensation Lawyer

For those who do survive their injuries, the employees file workers’ compensation claims with the state of Colorado. In 2013 alone, the state saw the filing of 31,094 workers’ compensation claims and 27,243 claims that involved lost wages for at least three shifts.

  • Upper extremity injuries accounted for 33.2% of lost time claims.
  • Lower extremity injuries accounted for 24.2% of lost time claims.
  • 23.9% of lost time claims involved trunk injuries.
  • Head injuries accounted for 6.4% of lost time claims.
  • Neck injuries accounted for 2.5% of lost time claims.
  • 6.4% of lost time claims involved multiple body parts, and the state could not classify the remaining 3.2%.

For the rest of the country, workplace injuries easily total in the millions. These statistics result in billions of dollars in claims going to pay workers for lost wages and medical treatments. According to the Social Security Administration:

  • American employees received $61.9 billion in workers’ compensation claims during 2015.
  • In 2014, American employees received $62.7 billion in benefits.
  • Out of the 2015 payouts, medical expenses accounted for $31.1 billion, and lost wages accounted for $30.7 billion.

Contact Our Firm

If you or a loved one was injured on the job due to negligence in Denver, contact the Denver work injury lawyers at The Fang Law Firm, P.C. today.