Denver, Colorado Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Serving Injured Workers in Colorado
Were you or a loved one seriously injured at work?
You never think it will be you who suffers a serious injury on the job… until it happens—without warning in a split second. The truth is, each year there are more than 30,000 workers’ compensation claims filed in Colorado cities like Denver, Boulder, Aurora, Ft. Collins, Colorado Springs and throughout the state.
Most Coloradoans work hard to live, eat and play in our beautiful state. So if you’re injured on-the-job unexpectedly, you understandably expect the promises afforded to you under Colorado’s workers’ compensation law to be fulfilled.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case much of the time. The reality is that your employer and their workers’ comp insurance company may try to find cracks in your story or situation – any avenue to avoid paying your benefits in full. You must remember that they’re a business first, so their financial interests may not be entirely aligned with yours.
If you or a loved one was injured at work, you are likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits from your employer or their insurer. However, it’s unfortunately not always clear how much you are owed and how to go about getting them. Being forced to fight for the benefits or settlement you deserve can take a huge toll on you and your family.
You should have an experienced Denver injury attorney on your side when dealing with an on-the-job injury. You need The Babcock Law Firm.
For Mack Babcock, workers’ compensation isn’t just another practice area—it’s his main focus. Mack found that while he could compete for more profitable personal injury cases, his colleagues would refer all the workers’ compensation cases to him without question. Eventually, he just accepted his specialty and followed his passion of serving injured workers and their families.
We’ll always be there for you through the whole process. Every step of the way.
How Much is Your Claim Worth?
The exact amount of compensation you are entitled to depends on your unique situation. Our experienced work injury attorneys can help you secure the following workers’ compensation benefits:
- Medical expenses. By Colorado statute, workers’ compensation is supposed to cover all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to your on-the-job injury. These benefits include compensation for travel expenses to and from your doctor appointments.
- Lost wages. If you are forced to miss work because of a job-related injury or illness, then you can be paid for this missed work until you recover enough to return to your job. Lost wage benefits are divided into several subcategories:
- Temporary partial disability (TPD). If you are able to still work in a limited role during your treatment, TPD benefits bridge the difference between your reduced wages and 2/3 of your pre-injury wages.
- Temporary total disability (TTD). If you cannot work at all during your medical treatment, TTD benefits will pay up to 2/3 of your average weekly wage before your injury.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD). If you underwent invasive medical treatment like surgery or have permanent limitations despite medical treatment, you are entitled to a cash payment up to a certain amount based on an “impairment rating” assigned by your physician.
- Permanent total disability (PTD). If you are unable to work at all following treatment and there are no other employment or retraining options for you, you are considered totally disabled and entitled to PTD benefits up to a certain maximum amount.
- Death benefits. If the ultimate misfortune happens and a person is killed in a fatal work accident, dependent spouses and children will receive benefits up to a certain amount. They can also receive help with funeral and burial expenses, along with weekly wage replacement benefits.
What Benefits NOT To Expect Through Workers’ Compensation
The workers’ compensation system was set up as a no-fault system for workers to obtain medical treatment and wage loss benefits for on-the-job injuries. In many ways, workers’ comp provides a more efficient and dignified way to deal with on-the-job injuries.
In exchange for benefiting the injured worker through a streamlined no-fault system, employers and their insurance companies enjoy immunity from all “common law” liability suits—meaning you generally cannot sue your employer for a work accident (except in rare cases). What’s more, disability/wage loss benefits are capped at a certain amount.
Lastly, workers’ compensation in Colorado doesn’t provide compensation for pain and suffering.
Hire a Colorado Workers’ Comp Attorney to Help You Overcome a Mountain of Legal Obstacles
Colorado’s workers’ compensation law involves a legal mountain of statutes, regulations and procedural rules that govern the benefits an injured worker is entitled to and how those benefits are to be paid. These laws also specify the complex procedure to be followed when there is a dispute between the injured worker and their employer or workers’ compensation insurance company.
You can bet that your employer and the insurance company know these complex guidelines inside and out. They also know that working through the statutes and rules is confusing and frustrating for the injured party – you. They’ll use this to their advantage to make sure they pay you as little benefits or settlement as possible.
You need a Colorado workers’ compensation lawyer, working on your behalf, to protect your rights and make sure you receive the maximum benefits you’re owed. Statistics show that injured workers represented by attorneys receive settlements that are more than 4 times the settlements of those who aren’t represented, according to the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation.
The Babcock Law Firm is in your corner. We know how employers and workers’ compensation insurance companies operate. In fact, R. Mack Babcock used to represent these companies before founding The Babcock Law Firm. Now, he uses that experience to help workers injured obtain the benefits and settlements they deserve.
“We will never represent an insurance company or other member of corporate America.”
– R. Mack Babcock said in an interview.
- Committee Chair for the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association’s Workers’ Compensation Committee
- Board of Directors for the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group
- Ranked a Top Lawyer in Denver by 5280 Magazine
- Received a Rising Stars award from Super Lawyers for four consecutive years
- President of Workers’ Compensation Educational Association
“Everyone at The Babcock Law Firm is very professional and 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 work their heart out for you. And when I say that they really care about you and what you’ve been through on a personal level. Thank you to the Babcock Law Firm.”
You May Think Your Employer Will Take Care of You, But Business is Business
You might think if you’re injured at work your employer will do what it takes to help you get through the injury, taking care of you and your family.
Unfortunately, many workers find that reality is a different story.
After all, businesses have profits and losses to account for, shareholders to report to and a bottom line to consider. Most employers have human resource directors, office managers, risk managers and other employees whose sole jobs are to try and minimize the costs associated with any work injury.
Time and time again, we have seen relationships between faithful, hard-working employees and their employer change for the worse after a work injury. It feels like just when you need their support most, your employer simply views you as an expendable cost.
As you consider hiring a workers’ compensation attorney, it’s important to realize that employers are also relying on workers’ compensation insurance companies and their lawyers to help them minimize costs by undermining your injury claim.
There are several tactics insurance companies and/or employers commonly use to reduce or eliminate the amount of money they must pay an employee for a work-related injury. These tactics include:
- Claiming a preexisting injury/illness was the cause of your injury
- Arguing that your injury didn’t take place during work, or within the scope of employment
- Disputing the seriousness/severity of your injury or illness
- Arguing that your claim was not reported or filed on time
- Proving you were intoxicated on drugs or alcohol when the accident occurred
- Saying you were willfully negligent by refusing to use a safety device or follow proper safety procedures
Contact Experienced Workers’ Comp Attorneys Today – a Free, No-Risk Consultation
We invite you to discuss the details of your Colorado workers’ compensation claim with a lawyer at The Babcock Firm – whether you’re in Denver, Littleton, Boulder, Aurora, Broomfield, Louisville, Lafayette, Golden, Thornton, Westminster or another CO city.
If your case falls within our practice area and we feel our representation can benefit you, a workers’ compensation lawyer will meet with you for an in-depth consultation at no charge.
Without a workers’ compensation attorney, you’re facing a difficult uphill battle.
At The Babcock Law Firm, we’re here to help you secure a successful settlement for your workers’ compensation claim.
Are you eligible for workers’ compensation benefits? Our Denver injury attorneys have successfully represented Colorado workers in compensation claims for serious work accidents.
Workplace Injury FAQs
What should I do if I’m injured at work?
If you are injured on the job, you should take the following steps:
- Report the injury to your supervisor immediately.
- Request to see a doctor.
- Request and complete a workers’ compensation claim form.
- If mentally and physically able, notify your employer of a work-injury claim in writing within 4 days of the accident.
- Contact a workman’s compensation attorney to discuss your legal rights.
Is there a time limit to file workers’ comp in Colorado?
Yes. The time period within which a workers’ comp claim must be filed is known as the “statute of limitations” and they vary state by state.
In Colorado, it’s important to report your injury and file a claim as soon as possible. In most cases, an injured worker has two years to file a claim, although a judge may allow up to three years depending on the case.
Review the chart below (provided by the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment) for more information:
Important Claims Timelines
|Immediately||Employer||Reports fatal injuries to Division|
|Within 4 days||Injured Worker||Reports injury in writing to employer|
|Within 10 days||Employer||Reports all injuries to carrier/insurer|
|Within 20 days||Insurer||Files an admission or denial of liability after receiving notice of an injury in cases where lost time, permanency, an occupational disease or a fatality occurs or at any time where a claim has been filed with the Division.|
|Within 45 days of date of mailing of Notice of Contest||Injured Worker||Files Application for an Expedited Hearing if claim has been denied in error|
|Within 30 days||Injured Worker|| Must object to Final Admission of Liability if s/he disagrees with any part of it including:
|After 6 months||Insurer||If injured worker objects to a Final Admission of Liability and takes no action to prosecute the claim for additional benefits, the insurer may petition the Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation to close the claim|
|Within 4 weeks immediately following termination of continuous period of total disability||Injured Worker||Files an unemployment insurance claim|
Can my employer fire me while on workers’ comp?
If you’ve been injured on the job in the state of Colorado, it’s technically legal for an employer to fire you during the process of a workers’ compensation claim. However, employers are not legally allowed to fire employees out of retaliation because of the claim. They must present valid reasons for the termination.
Colorado employers have to show just cause that an employee’s actions were somehow responsible for their firing.
If you believe your employer has unjustly terminated you in response to your workers’ compensation claim, it’s in your best interest to call a qualified workers’ compensation attorney immediately.
What does workmans’ compensation cover?
Workers’ comp pays for hospital and medical expenses that are necessary to diagnose and treat your work-related injury.
Find out more about your benefits available under Colorado workers’ compensation.
Can I see my own doctor to be diagnosed with a work-related injury?
If you require immediate medical attention following an accident, you should go to the nearest emergency room for treatment. In non-emergency situations, you’ll have to obey your state’s laws regarding the proper ways to receive medical care. Certain states allow the employee to pick the physician who will treat them for their injuries, whereas other states provide employers that right.
In Colorado, the employer or insurance company has the right to select the physician that employees must use for treatment of work-related injuries. This becomes your designated medical provider.
While you must visit a designated doctor chosen by your employer or their insurer, you certainly have the right to get a second opinion.
What are the first steps after getting hurt on the job?
As soon as you know that you’re injured, be sure to tell your employer. From there, seek treatment from a doctor as soon as possible. In Colorado, you have four working days from the date of the injury to report the injury to your employer in writing.
Failure to do so could result in a loss of benefits for each day that a written notice isn’t provided. Those who are unable to meet this requirement may have someone do so on their behalf.
Continue reading: How to File a Work Injury Claim
What will my employer do after a work injury is reported?
Your employer is required to report all injuries to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Only injuries that involve missing more than three days or shifts of work are reported to the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation and must undergo the formal claim process. The deadline to report lost-time claims is within 10 days of finding out about the injury. For work injury claims that don’t involve lost time, there is no deadline for reporting.
Regardless of whether the injury results in lost time at work or not, the workers’ compensation claim process officially begins when the employer reports the injury to their carrier. If your employer has a designated medical provider list, they should provide that list to you.
What happens after my workers’ comp claim is filed?
The exact process followed by the insurance company depends, in part, on how long you’ve been out of work. Those who have missed more than three days of work (or more than three shifts) will receive a written response within 20 days of filing a claim.
If the claim is accepted, you should start to receive benefits either immediately or in the near future. If you have missed fewer than three days of work when filing a claim, you will be responsible for tracking the status of the claim.
Continue reading: Workers’ Compensation Case Timeline
What happens if my work injury claim is denied?
If your claim is denied, you have 45 days to request a hearing to challenge the denial. There is no specific deadline for requesting a hearing. If you pursue a hearing within 45 days, you can request an expedited hearing (which gets set within 60 days of the hearing application). If you request a hearing outside the 45 days, it’s a regular setting time frame of 120 days. If you fail to pursue the claim within 6 months, the insurance carrier can file a motion to close the claim for lack of prosecution.
Workers’ comp claims can be denied for any reason deemed sufficient by the insurance company. In some cases, applications are denied in error. Regardless of the reason, it’s strongly recommended that you consult a work injury attorney at this point to discuss your legal options going forward.
Which doctor do I see for treatment?
If your employer provides you with a list of designated medical providers, you must choose someone from that list. Otherwise, you may run the risk of losing workers’ compensation benefits. In the event that no list is provided, you may see any doctor of your choice.
Who your workers’ compensation doctor is can and will have a significant impact on how your claim proceeds. Any injured worker should consider consulting with a knowledgeable attorney familiar with workers’ comp doctors in Colorado before selecting a provider.
What workers’ comp benefits am I entitled to?
While the exact compensation you’re entitled to depends on your specific case, generally injured workers can have their medical bills paid for by the insurance carrier and be reimbursed for a portion of lost wages while out of work. If you have permanent ongoing problems or undergo significant treatment like a surgery due to the work injury, there may also be a possibility of permanent impairment/disability damages to be awarded at the end of the case.
Continue reading: Benefits Available under a Workers’ Compensation Claim
How much will I get paid for a work injury?
You may be entitled to up to two-thirds of your average weekly wage (AWW). The AWW is determined by reviewing IRS records, pay stubs, time records, and other recent pay information including commissions or tips received.
Continue reading: Maximum Benefit Rates for Colorado Workers’ Comp – 2017-2018 Fiscal Year
Am I entitled to unemployment benefits?
Unemployment benefits may be available to those who are still out of work after workers’ compensation benefits expire. Applications should be made at least four weeks prior to the exhaustion of workers’ compensation benefits, and they must be filed within three years of losing a job.
You can get unemployment benefits during the case as well, but it’s rarely advisable to do so because the workers’ comp carrier just gets to reduce what they pay due to an offset and it depletes the injured worker’s unemployment bank.
What happens if my employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance?
Most employers are required to carry coverage for their employees. You can get in touch with the Colorado Department of Labor to report your employer or otherwise address your concerns. Uninsured employers are still legally responsible for workers’ compensation benefits. Injured workers can still pursue a claim and their employer will be penalized.
What does Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) mean?
MMI is a term used by a doctor to acknowledge that your condition has been treated and is not expected to improve. Generally, this means that your condition is stable and will not respond to further treatment. Workers’ compensation benefits may terminate upon receiving such a diagnosis.
If you have additional questions or concerns regarding a work-related injury, we recommend checking out our Workers’ Compensation Guide or give us a call to schedule a free consultation with our expert Colorado work injury attorney.
Workers’ Compensation Resources
- What Benefits Are Available in a Colorado Workers’ Compensation Claim?
- How Do the Caps Apply to How Much Received in Colorado Workers’ Comp Benefits?
- How to Obtain Benefits for a Work Injury Outside of Colorado
Claims & Settlements
- How to File a Work Injury Claim
- Resolve Colorado Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Disputes Out of Court
- Should I Take a Full and Final Settlement or Structured Payments?
- What Can I Do if My Colorado Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company Avoids Looking Into My Claim or Misleads Me?
- Why Was Your Colorado Workers’ Compensation Claim Denied?
Colorado Workers’ Compensation Laws
- 3 Types of Colorado Workers’ Compensation Insurance
- Can I be Denied Colorado Workers’ Compensation from Smoking Legal Marijuana?
- Colorado Workers’ Compensation Jurisdiction
- Does Colorado Workers’ Compensation Cover All Injuries?
- How Forced Arbitration Leaves Employees Helpless
- Origins and History of Colorado Workers’ Compensation Laws
- Understanding the Compensation Process for an Injured Worker Claim
- Workers’ Compensation Case Timeline
Finding the Best Work Injury Attorney
- Choosing the Right Colorado Workers’ Compensation Attorney
- How To Spot a Bad Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Colorado
Medical Inquiries for Workers’ Compensation
- Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) for Workers’ Comp in Colorado
- What if My Workers’ Compensation Doctor is not Providing the Proper Care?
Social Security Disability (SSDI)
- How Workers’ Compensation and Disability Benefits Differ
- Lump Sum Payments of Permanent Disability Benefits
- Reasons Why Temporary Disability Benefits Can Be Terminated in Your Workers’ Compensation Case
- Colorado Workers’ Compensation: Mesothelioma & Asbestos Exposure
- Combustible Dust: An Explosive Work Hazard
- Compensation for Workplace Violence & Assault in Colorado
- How to Report a Work-Related Injury or Condition
- What is OSHA and How Do they Protect Workers?
- Workers’ Compensation for Toxic Chemical Exposure at Work in Colorado