Does Colorado Workers' Compensation Cover All Injuries?

A variety of compensation benefits are available to injured Colorado workers. The Babcock Law Firm examines what injuries are covered and not covered under these benefits.

If you are an employee in the state of Colorado and become injured while on the job, most accidents will be covered under workers' compensation. However, there are some injuries that occur where workers' comp coverage may not apply.

In this article, Colorado work injury attorney R. Mack Babcock will discuss several common injuries covered under workers' compensation, injuries that are not covered, as well as what types of workers' compensation exists for injured Colorado employees.

Injuries Covered by Workers' Comp

Workers' compensation is essentially an agreement between the employer and employee.  The employer agrees to take care of the employee if they are injured on the job by paying for ensuing medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages.  In turn, Colorado employee cannot sue their place of employment for work-related injuries.

Below are common injuries that are generally covered by some form of workers' compensation. Most of these types of injuries are mental injuries, physical trauma, trauma caused by repetitive motions or an occupational disease:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • General anxiety disorder
  • Exposure to asbestos
  • Strokes
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease
  • Broken bones
  • Fractures
  • Head injuries
  • Hernias
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Bulging discs
  • Torn rotator cuffs
  • Torn meniscus

Injuries NOT Covered

According to, there are several types of injuries that are not covered under Colorado workers' compensation, including:

  • An injury that occurs due to "horseplay" (not doing your job)
  • A worker who injures himself/herself on purpose
  • An injury caused by an "act of God"
  • The worker is hurt during an athletic or social event that was not part of his/her work duties

For injuries suffered while an employee was intoxicated on the job, the injured worker can be penalized and lose part of their benefits. However, they are still entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

Under state law, Colorado employers are responsible for reimbursing an injured employee for medical expenses which are considered reasonable as well as necessary.  In order to make certain there are no issues in receiving your proper compensation, always report your injury to your employer immediately.  You need to put this in writing with the date, place and time the injury occurred.  Your compensation can possibly be forfeited if you do not report this in the proper window of time.

Types of Colorado Workers' Compensation Benefits

Below are the various types of workers' compensation insurance available in Colorado:

  • Medical benefits – Under Colorado law, all medical injuries should be paid by workers' compensation if the individual is injured on the job.  Most medical expenses include doctors' visits, hospital stays, medical supplies, x-rays, medication and physical therapy.

  • Temporary disability benefits – An injured worker is entitled to these wage loss benefits if they are not working at all or if they are working or earning less due to their work restrictions.

  • Permanent partial disability – PPD benefits is compensation that is due at the end of a case for many injuries when a person is able to continue working in some capacity, but has some lasting effects.

  • Permanent total disability – PTD benefits equate to two-thirds of the worker's wages at the time of the injury.  This is distributed when an employee is so severely injured that he is no longer able to work in any capacity.  Many factors are analyzed before this type of disability is dispersed – age of the employee, geographic location, job experience, physical limitations etc.

  • Death benefits – The amount of money paid to surviving family members is generally two-thirds of the deceased employee's weekly wages. This can be less depending on how closely the surviving dependents are related to the worker.  Surviving dependent children will generally receive the wages until they reach adulthood.  The surviving spouse will receive benefits until they remarry or pass away. 

You can learn more about the different types of benefits available under a Colorado workers' compensation claim in our knowledge center.

If you have been injured on the job and believe you are not receiving the proper compensation, contact Colorado's highly qualified and experienced workers' compensation attorney, R. Mack Babcock, for a no-cost case evaluation.  Also, browse our blog for other educational articles on workers' compensation and personal injury.

Continue reading these related articles for more information…


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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