How to File a Work Injury Claim
Colorado workers’ compensation attorney Mack Babcock tells what you need to know about filing a work injury
Getting hurt on the job can mean a loss of income or, in a worst case scenario, a loss of physical or mental ability. Knowing what to do when injured at work can help speed up the process to getting any medical bills covered or receiving compensation you are entitled to.
According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, “all public and private employers, with limited exceptions, must provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees if one or more full- or part-time persons are employed.”
If you have been injured on the job and need to know what steps to take to file a workers’ compensation claim, consider the following:
- Notify your employer. If you have been hurt on the job, notify your employer immediately. The CDLE states that you must report your injury in writing to your employer within four working days, or risk losing some of your compensation. This is the case even if you have already reported it to them verbally.
- Know employer’s role. After you report the incident to your employer, they must report it to the CDLE’s Division of Workers’ Compensation and their insurer within 10 days. If your employer fails to file a report— either due to negligence or lack of workers’ comp insurance — you may file a claim with the state.
- See a qualified health professional. Your employer should have a list of “designated providers” that they will need to provide to you as well. Thanks in part to the work of Mack Babcock as President of WCEA, and other organizations that fight for the rights of injured workers, beginning April 1st, 2015 all employers must have a written list of at least four designated providers that an injured worker can pick from for treatment, rather than just two as was previously the law. Despite this requirement, employers often try to circumvent the rules by trying to send injured workers to a specific doctor. If your employer tries to do this to you, call an attorney immediately because you’re likely being sent to a bad doctor and have the right to pick somebody else.
- Understand medical billing. If you are hurt, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. If your claim has been accepted, all medical bills should go directly to the employer’s insurance company. If your claim is denied, you will be responsible for payment of any outstanding medical bills that you have incurred. The insurer has 20 days to respond to your claim.
- Receive compensation. If you are entitled to compensation due to lost working days, benefits should be paid directly to you every two weeks to partially replace the wages you are unable to earn due to your injury. How much you receive is based on a 2/3 percentage rate of your average weekly wage. You may not be eligible to receive temporary disability for lost working days unless you have missed more than three days or three shifts.
- Respond to claim denial. If a claim is denied, you have the option of filing an application for a hearing to review your claim. Sometimes a claim can be denied if the insurer is lacking complete information, because they need to investigate further, or if the insurer doesn’t believe the claim is work-related.
If you are unsure of any of these steps, it may behoove you to consult with a legal expert.
“Although the majority of workers’ compensation claims resolve without the necessity of litigation, it is important to understand that resolution of some of the more complex issues may be facilitated through the technical expertise provided by an individual who is well-versed in Colorado workers’ compensation law,” the CDLE’s website states.
If you’d like to discuss the details of your workers’ compensation claim with a lawyer, consider contacting The Babcock Law Firm today. R. Mack Babcock and his team of skilled work injury attorneys have fought for individuals all over Colorado, including in Denver, Boulder, Aurora, Broomfield, Louisville, Lafayette, Golden, Thornton, Westminster and other cities in the Centennial state.
If your case falls within our practice area and we feel our representation can help you, one of our attorneys would be happy to meet with you for an in-depth case consultation, at no charge.
Learn more about how to obtain your workers’ comp benefits by reading our workers’ compensation guide.
**NOTE – this article and all content at Injurylawcolorado.com is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice