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Colorado Workers’ Compensation Protection for Injured Truckers

Colorado attorney for injured truck drivers wants you to know you’re entitled to full CO workers’ comp benefits or its private insurance equivalent regardless of employment classification

Many trucking companies, a.k.a. carriers, across Colorado and the U.S. hire their truckers as independent contractors to reduce costs. Hiring drivers as independent contractors means the carrier is exempt from paying state or federal taxes, social security and unemployment insurance.

On top of this, they are exempt from many reporting requirements, minimum wage and overtime compensation rules.  

Consequently, truckers across Colorado are told by their employers that they are not entitled to full workers’ compensation benefits since they’re hired as independent contractors. Carriers do not want to incur the cost of workers’ compensation insurance due to costs and the fact that on-the-job injuries for truckers are more frequent and severe than many other occupations.

So, employers try to cover their truck drivers through private occupational accident policies that are not closely monitored by the state and generally fall short of the benefits prescribed in Colorado workers’ compensation laws.

But for an independent truck driver contractor designation to be valid in Colorado, employers are required to either provide full workers’ compensation benefits or a private insurance policy that provides the same level of benefits, according to Colorado statutes and prior case law.

Do not accept an employer’s explanation that you are not entitled to full Colorado on-the-job injury benefits

Unfortunately, many Colorado truckers believe that since they are employed as independent contractors, their employers do not have to provide full Colorado workers’ compensation coverage. They accept that the limited occupational accident policies they are given are the only on-the-job injury benefits they are entitled to.

First, Colorado statute 40-11.5-102 subsection 5, paragraph A states specifically:

“Any lease or contract executed pursuant to this section shall provide for coverage under workers’ compensation or a private insurance policy that provides similar coverage.”
“Similar coverage” is further defined in paragraph B as “…benefits offered by such insurance coverage shall be at least comparable to the benefits offered under the workers’ compensation system.”

Several court cases have affirmed the intent of the Colorado General Assembly in regard to this area of Colorado workers’ compensation law. When a court interprets a statute, it must determine and follow the intent of the Legislature or Congress by affording the language of the statute its plain and ordinary meaning.

USF Distribution Services, Inc. and Travelers Insurance Company (petitioners) v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office of the State of Colorado and Steven D. Engebretson (respondents) is a workers’ compensation case involving a truck driver that has set the legal precedent for all those who have followed it.

In essence USF Distribution and Travelers Insurance were appealing a ruling by the Industrial Claims office that proclaimed the injured trucker was an “employee” rather than an “independent contractor” since the lease agreement between the two did not provide the same level of coverage outlined in the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act.

The independent contractor classification was invalid since the occupational insurance policy the employer provided fell way short of the benefits outlined in Colorado workers’ compensation statutes.

Colorado attorney for injured truck drivers R. Mack Babcock is well versed in handling cases of this nature. The Babcock Law Firm has succeeded in obtaining benefits for every truck driver workers’ compensation case it has taken on, even when the injured truckers had been told by other Colorado workers’ compensation attorneys they had no case.

Continue reading these related articles for more information….

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Discuss the details of your claim with a Colorado Workers’ Compensation lawyer at The Babcock Firm today. No matter where you are in the state of Colorado, if your case falls within our practice area and we feel our representation can benefit you, an attorney will conduct an in-depth consultation at no charge. We are here to help you secure a successful outcome. Contact us today and learn more about how representation works.

Disclaimer

While the Babcock Law Firm tirelessly works to obtain successful outcomes for its clients, prior positive outcomes are no guarantee of future success. Indicating prior positive results is in no way intended to guarantee future results.

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Retained following denial of claim obtaining a financial settlement including resolution of a Medicaid lien.
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"Everyone at The Babcock Law Firm is very professional, made sure you understood everything before moving on. If I had a Question, I would email usually and they would respond in a very timley manner. Usually when you hear the work Lawyer you cringe and think they are going to take advantage of you. However Bacock Law Firm "Did Not" They really worked their heart out for you. And when I say that they really care about you and what you've been thru on a personal level. Thank You to the Babcock Law Firm"

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Represented following crushed thumb injury obtaining an independent medical evaluation, impairment rating and settlement.
2018-01-07
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"Mack did a great job and was only lawyer to take case since Colorado laws are very poor for injured workers. I was very frustrated to learn how bad the state of Colorado laws are. Mack was patient explaining what the state allowed for injured workers. Mack explained how he works every year to try and get new laws in place for injured workers. Knowing what Mack told me. I have to laugh when i see the tv commercials for personal injury lawyers saying we will take your case. Mack did a very good job. Hopefully Dr John Burris and others like him will be subject to the plenty of the law one day."

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"In September 2016 I contacted the Babcock Law Firm to seek help with my workers compensation (injury) case... I was then quickly scheduled the next day to meet with Stephanie Tucker (associate attorney) to go over all my case details. From day one, I really felt I was dealt with the upmost understanding and compassion. It didn't take me very long to know that I was making the right choice. Now, three and a half months later, and with the firm's awesome help, the opposing insurance company has finally settled with us. The pay-out amount was exactly what we had hoped for! A very special thank you goes out to everyone at The Babcock Law Firm! Sincerely, Garrett T. (Denver, CO.) "

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