Hurt on the Job Attorney in Denver
Serving Injured Workers in Colorado
Denver workers’ compensation attorneys explain the most common types of job injuries.
Not every injury at work gives rise to a workers’ compensation claim. A minor cut or bruise may not be cause for concern, but sometimes hardworking Coloradoans suffer a moderate to severe injury on the job that requires medical treatment and time off work to recover. In the worst cases, a workplace accident or occupational illness is fatal and a person’s life is tragically cut short.
Work-related injuries and illnesses can present serious financial challenges to injured workers and their families. Instead of focusing on resting, healing and recovering as you should be, you may be worried and stressed about how you’ll pay the bills and provide for your family. The medical bills may be piling up, even while you’re unable to work to help pay them.
For most Coloradoans, workers’ compensation is a financial lifeline that helps pay for the medical bills and lost wages that result from an occupational illness or injury. However, not all employers or insurance companies are forthcoming in providing the compensation you are owed. Sometimes you have to fight to get the benefits you deserve—and without an attorney representing your best interests, you face an uphill battle.
That’s where we come in.
We’ll always be there for you through the whole process. Every step of the way.
R. Mack Babcock
Founder of The Babcock Law Firm
Common Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
Most workers’ compensation claims can be broken down into 1 of 3 categories, depending on the cause and type of harm inflicted on the claimant (injured worker).
A vast majority (over 84 percent) of nonfatal workplace injuries that require workers to take time off are caused by overexertion and body reactions, slip and falls or contact with objects, machinery and heavy equipment, according to the National Safety Council. Other possible causes of injuries on the job include work-related car accidents, workplace violence, exposure to toxic substances or environments, defective tools, explosions and even extreme weather (cold or hot).
Common examples of nonfatal work-related injuries that give rise to workers’ compensation claims in Colorado include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Knee injuries
- Electrocution injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain and head injuries
- Burn injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Shoulder and arm injuries
- Foot and ankle injuries
- Finger, hand and wrist injuries
- Hip injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
Occupational illnesses and diseases
Occupational illnesses and diseases differ from work-related injuries in that they aren’t typically caused by a single traumatic incident. Rather, these conditions occur over a period of time due to prolonged exposure to an unsafe work environment or repetitive motions you may have to perform at your job. OSHA defines an occupational illness as “any abnormal condition or disorder resulting from a non-instantaneous event or exposure in the work environment.”
Our Colorado workers’ compensation lawyers assist workers who have been diagnosed with any type of occupational illness, including the following conditions:
- Repetitive strain/stress injuries (RSI)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
- Chronic pain
- Hearing loss
- Loss of vision
- Tendonitis and tennis elbow
- Asthma, COPD and other respiratory illnesses
- Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD)
- Lower back disorders
Fatal work accidents
When a traumatic work-related injury or illness causes a person’s death, their surviving spouse, children and other dependents often face extraordinary financial stress. On top of grieving the loss of a loved one, you and your family might be anxious and worried about how you’ll make ends meet and pay the bills now that a primary wage earner is no longer able to provide a source of income. Colorado workers’ compensation laws afford such families certain death benefits following a tragic occupational fatality.
Workplace Injuries and Pre-Existing Conditions
Can you get workers’ compensation for a workplace injury that was aggravated by an old condition?
In Colorado, ANY accident or illness that occurs in the scope and course of employment is considered a workplace injury and should be covered by workers’ compensation—including pre-existing conditions as long as your condition was aggravated by a work-related accident or environment.
Despite this fact, employers and insurance companies often try to use pre-existing conditions as an excuse to wrongly deny injured worker’s claims, which is why it’s essential to seek help and advice from a knowledgeable attorney if this happens to you.
Learn more about pre-existing conditions and workplace injuries.
Work-Related Injury FAQ
What is the most common injury at work?
The leading causes of work-related injuries are:
- Overexertion and muscle strain
- Slips, trips and falls
- Contact with objects and equipment
These 3 account for more than 84 percent of nonfatal injuries that cause employees to miss work.
Who pays when I get hurt at work?
Most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to workers who are hurt on the job or diagnosed with an occupational illness. Generally, these payments are paid by your employer’s insurance company—or, in some cases, your employer may pay these benefits directly.
Should I get a lawyer if I got hurt at work?
Not every workplace injury is serious enough to require the help of an attorney. For example, if your injury or illness is minor, requires no time off work and no medical treatment, then you may not need to hire a lawyer.
However, if your injury or illness is moderate to serious, requires you to miss work, results in temporary or permanent disability, is not clearly related to your job or your injury claim is contested or was denied, then you should consult a workers’ compensation attorney near you as soon as possible to better understand your rights, responsibilities and legal options.
What qualifies as a work-related injury?
Any injury or illness that happens while the employee is working on behalf of their employer or company is considered work-related. This is true regardless of whether or not the accident occurred in a designated workspace or office. So even if you are working from home, running a work errand or traveling between jobsites, you can be eligible for workers’ compensation so long as the injury or illness was directly connected to performing your job.
Proving that an occupational illness or disease is work-related can be a bit more challenging than a work-related injury or accident because your employer or their insurer may argue that the illness could have arisen out of work. Hiring a professional attorney to represent you in such cases is vital to debunking these claims and securing your benefits.
How much should I settle for a work injury?
While neither we nor anyone else can ethically calculate the potential value of your claim without first knowing more details about the nature and severity of your injury, you should know that workers’ compensation in Colorado generally pays for any and all medical expenses related to your occupational injury or illness, including travel expenses to and from medical appointments.
In addition, you should receive compensation for lost wages for missed days of work—up to two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to a maximum rate. If you were permanently disabled by a work accident or condition, you may be eligible for permanent partial or total disability benefits.
If you lost a loved one in a fatal workplace accident or due to a deadly occupational illness, you may be owed additional death benefits to provide compensation for funeral and burial expenses.
Can I be fired for a work-related injury?
Colorado workers cannot sue their employer for a work-related injury or illness, in most cases. This is because workers’ compensation—which is available to most Coloradoans (but not all)—is an “exclusive remedy,” meaning that injured workers cannot pursue legal action against their employer if they are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
However, there are certain exceptions to this rule such as in cases of gross negligence, malicious conduct, when an employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance OR if an employer retaliated against the employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim by firing them.
While Colorado is an at-will employment state—meaning an employer can fire a worker at any time without notice, including during the process of a workers’ compensation claim—it is against the law to fire an employee in retaliation for filing an injury claim. There must be another legitimate reason for terminating the employee.
What if I can’t return to work after an injury?
In Colorado, when an injured worker is unable to return to work—either temporarily or permanently— they are entitled to certain disability benefits. However, only a doctor can determine whether or not a person is fit to return to work. If the doctor says that you’re ready to start working again but you refuse to return to work, your workers’ compensation benefits could be stopped.
However, sometimes returning to work too soon can cause further injury or pain, resulting in long-term health issues. Our attorneys can help ensure you receive the best diagnosis and treatment from a physician who is truly looking after your health and not on the insurance company’s payroll.
Serving Injured Workers Throughout Colorado
From our office in Denver, we represent injured workers across the state—including in Colorado Springs, Littleton, Boulder, Aurora, Broomfield, Louisville, Lafayette, Lakewood, Golden, Thornton, Westminster, Longmont, Loveland, Fort Collins and many other Colorado cities.
FREE CONSULT: It Costs Nothing to Get Answers
Regardless of what type of injury or illness you or your loved one suffered, most Coloradoans are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help pay for medical care, lost wages and other expenses.
The Babcock Law Firm has represented workers across the state—from the Eastern Plains to the Front Range to the Western Slope—in all sorts of workers’ compensation cases. As our client reviews can attest to, we’ve helped hundreds of individuals suffering from debilitating work-related injuries and illnesses by securing the medical care and settlements they needed to heal physically, emotionally and financially.
If you were seriously hurt at work and have questions about your workers’ compensation rights, don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable and compassionate Denver work injury attorneys. We exclusively represent injured individuals and their families—not insurance companies—so you can rest assured that we are fully committed to fighting for your right to compensation.
Your initial consultation with one of our attorneys is 100% free, so there’s no cost and no commitment necessary to learn about your legal options and next steps.