Every year, an average of 112 workers die on the job in Colorado and thousands more become injured or ill.
If you were injured while working in the state of Colorado, you might be wondering about your right to compensation and whether you need a workers’ comp lawyer.
Keep reading to learn more about workers’ compensation claims in Colorado and how to know whether to hire a workers’ comp attorney for your case.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation Claims in Colorado
Employees who are injured on the job while working in the state of Colorado are entitled to benefits through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Employers in Colorado are legally required to carry this type of insurance if they have at least one employee. Anyone who is paid for the work they perform is considered an employee. However, there may be exemptions for independent contractors.
You can learn more about your employer’s insurance requirements here.
If your employer doesn’t have insurance when they should, you may be able to claim benefits from the Colorado Uninsured Employers Fund.
One of the most important things to understand about workers’ compensation claims in Colorado is the strict reporting deadlines.
If you are injured on the job, you are required to report your injury to your employer within 4 days of the date of injury (DOI). If you don’t do this, you might lose your right to file a claim.
The report of your injury is referred to as the First Report of Injury (FROI) and will play a crucial role in determining whether you are eligible for benefits and making your case.
Be sure to make a copy of any information you provide to your employer regarding your accident so that you can give this to your lawyer if you need one. Your employer will have you fill out a claim form as well. Employers in Colorado are required to report the incident to their workers’ compensation insurance company within 10 days.
Medical treatment is available to injured workers through their employer’s insurance company. These providers are called Authorized Treating Physicians (ATP).
Do You Need a Lawyer for a Workers’ Comp Claim?
It can be challenging to determine whether you need a lawyer if you were injured on the job. On one hand, you might think you don’t need a lawyer because you don’t have to prove liability. On the other hand, navigating the legal process can be overwhelming.
The truth is, whether or not you need a workers’ compensation lawyer depends on the nature of your case.
If your injury was minor and your case is simple, you probably don’t need a lawyer. In these cases, your employer’s insurance company should pay out your claim without any hassle.
However, if your injuries were severe and you require ongoing treatment and time away from work, having a lawyer is important. Your lawyer will help you navigate the complicated legal process and make sure you get the benefits you deserve.
It can be hard enough to meet every deadline and compile the proper evidence to prove your claim when you’re feeling well, let alone when you’re recovering from a severe injury. The more serious and complex your case, the more likely you are to need representation to ensure you are compensated for your medical expenses and lost income.
A good workers’ compensation attorney will meet with you for free to discuss your case and help you evaluate the strength of your claim.
Dealing With Insurance Companies
One of the hardest parts of navigating a workers’ comp claim is dealing with your employer’s insurance company.
Their job is to protect your employer, not you. Insurance companies are ultimately out to profit and they will often put their bottom line before paying out claims. Insurance companies will do anything they can to reduce the value of your claim. If any of the circumstances of your claim could appear questionable, chances are the insurance company will do everything they can to lowball your settlement offer.
Here are just a few circumstances where you should consider hiring a workers’ compensation claims attorney:
- There were no witnesses to your accident
- You can’t return to work at all
- You can only return to work in a diminished capacity
- You missed any deadlines for filing a claim
- You need extensive or ongoing medical care
If there is any doubt as to how or when your injury occurred, you need a lawyer. Experienced workers’ compensation attorneys know how to prove your claim with proper documentation. This is especially important in cases where you need ongoing medical treatment or will experience permanent disability as a result of your injury.
Proving your case often boils down to the documentation you can provide. A skilled attorney and their team will help you obtain the necessary documentation and keep track of all state-specific deadlines to make sure your claim is processed in accordance with Colorado law.
Your attorney will take the pressure of negotiating with insurance companies off your shoulders, allowing you to relax and recover. Your attorney will also ensure you get the medical care you need when dealing with authorized treating physicians.
Learn More About Workers Compensation Claims and Your Rights
Understanding everything there is to know about workers’ compensation claims can be more than a little overwhelming. That’s why our workers’ compensation attorneys have dedicated their careers to learning the intricacies of workers’ comp law in the state of Colorado.
We understand the concerns of injured workers and work hard to make sure you get every benefit you are entitled to. If you were injured on the job, don’t delay. Time is one of the most critical elements in a workers’ compensation claim.
Click here to contact us today for a free case evaluation and to learn more about your rights to compensation.