Denver Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Workers injured on the job must follow specific steps to obtain work comp benefits under Colorado law but no covered employee should be denied coverage. At Front Range Injury Attorneys, our Denver workers’ compensation lawyers can help you protect your legal rights and get fair treatment. Contact our law office for a free case review today. Workplace injuries are extremely common. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports over two million workplace injuries each year. In Colorado alone, state data finds over 100 people die from workplace injuries annually. According to the Social Security Administration, over $60 billion in workers’ compensation benefits are paid each year for workplace injuries nationwide. Approximately half of all benefits pay medical expenses, while the other half pays for lost wages. Often obtaining legal counsel is the only way to obtain the benefits due to you under the Colorado workers’ compensation statute.
Why should I hire a workers' compensation lawyer?
The Colorado workers’ compensation system is not a worker-friendly system. Many people believe after a workplace accident, they report the injury, go to the doctor and the system will get them to the finish line. What you may not realize is that insurance carriers and employers often fight claims to deny or delay payments. You may not realize your benefits are in jeopardy until it is too late.
A skilled workers’ compensation lawyer in Denver can help you protect your rights to medical care and payments under your workers’ compensation claim. You deserve to have an advocate on your side to protect you from improper denials or delays. You need to be able to count on getting necessary treatment right away so you can get back to work. Working with an attorney from the start can help make sure you get quality medical care right away and make the process easier for you. Your attorney will also handle any appeals that may arise of your claim or the value of your work comp claim.
We accept workers’ compensation cases on a contingency fee basis, so it costs you nothing to speak with us about your workplace injury and hire quality representation to protect your rights.
Why Trust Front Range Injury Attorneys?
At Front Range Injury Attorneys we care about helping our clients throughout their cases. We believe clients are best served when our personal injury attorneys participate in their cases from start to finish. We help our clients get the best treatment for their injuries. By building up your case from the beginning, we build a strong case to get the best results.
How we can help you
Contact Front Range Injury Attorneys to discuss your Colorado work comp claim. We offer free case reviews for injury and accident cases across the state.
Tell us about your case
How much is my Colorado workers' compensation claim worth?
An important question most people have after a workplace injury is how much their work comp claim is worth. It is difficult to determine the value of your claim without examining your case to understand your injuries and the treatment you receive. There are several factors that will determine the value of your workers’ compensation claim.
The most important factor in the value of your claim is the medical bills. Workers’ compensation covers all of the medical expenses related to treating your workplace injury. That includes emergency medical bills, ongoing treatment and rehabilitation, medical devices and invasive procedures. In severe workplace accidents, you may require hundreds of thousands of dollars of treatment. In Colorado, workers’ compensation pays the entirety of your medical expenses.
The other major factor in your work comp claim value is your lost income. If you are unable to perform your job due to your injury, workers’ compensation pays wage replacement through temporary or total disability benefits. Unfortunately, this often only pays two-thirds of your wages. In certain cases, your wage payments may be based upon a schedule formulation.
If you receive a partial or total disability rating, you may receive a settlement at the end of your case. The value of your settlement will depend in part upon your wage rate and disability rating.
Types of workers' compensation benefits
One benefit paid by Colorado workers’ compensation is payment of your medical expenses incurred as a result of your injuries. This benefit is paid directly to the providers unlike other personal injury claims. Medical expense payments cover virtually any form of treatment, even extremely expensive procedures like surgeries and invasive forms of pain management.
In addition to medical expense payments, workers’ compensation also pays lost wages. Under the Colorado work comp system, you may receive one of four forms of disability benefits based upon the type and severity of your injuries.
Temporary partial disability (TPD)
Temporary partial disability is paid if your injury or illness temporarily disables you from performing your normal job functions but you can return to work with modified hours, duties and wages.
Temporary total disability (TTD)
You may receive temporary total disability payments if your workplace injury or illness is temporary but totally disables you from performing an available modified job. After three days of missing work, you begin receiving TTD on your fourth day of missed work. You receive TTD payments based upon your average weekly wage every two weeks.
Permanent partial disability (PPD)
If you permanently lose function of a body part or system as a result of your workplace injury or illness, you qualify for permanent partial disability. PPD payments are calculated by the degree of disability. Your impairment rating may be based on scheduled or non-scheduled impairment under the workers’ compensation statute.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
You may receive permanent total disability payments if your workplace injury or illness causes complete and permanent disability. PPD payments provides two-thirds of your average weekly wage paid for the rest of your life.
Colorado worker's compensation law
Colorado workers’ compensation pays medical expenses and lost wages due to workplace injury or illness under the state’s workers’ compensation statute. The statute requires all Colorado employers to maintain workers’ compensation insurance on all employees (with few exceptions). Work comp insurance pays benefits rather than your employer paying out of pocket on your claim. Severe injuries requiring hundreds of thousands or millions in benefits could bankrupt employers and leave injured employees unfulfilled.
How do I receive workers' compensation benefits under the Colorado statute?
Under the Colorado workers’ compensation statute, you must follow specific procedures to file a claim and receive benefits. If you do not file a claim as required, your claim may be denied or delayed. The law requires you to:
- Report the injury to your employer as soon as it occurs or when you discover it.
- You will select a medical provider from your employer’s provider list and begin receiving treatment.
- You must also notify your employer in writing of the injury within four days. The date of injury and your first report of injury will be important to your case.
- Your employer will notify its insurance company within ten days of your injury report.
- The company will evaluate your claim. If it approves the claim, you will receive benefits.
Employers may deny the claim or delay benefits by disputing whether your injury or illness is work-related. Sometimes employers neglect to file the insurance claim which also results in non-payment of benefits. In these situation, a workers’ compensation attorney can help advocate for your claim and timely benefit payments. Our Denver injury lawyers at Front Range Injury Attorneys can help deal with the legal issues so you can begin receiving benefits as soon as possible.
What is the difference between workers' comp and a personal injury lawsuit?
Workers’ comp and personal injury lawsuits are different in important ways. The types of harm you can recover differ as do the ways you pursue compensation.
In most circumstances, a claim against your employer for a workplace injury or illness is a no-fault claim. That means you do not have to prove your employer caused the injury or illness. You can even recover in most cases if you caused your own injury or illness on the job. You also do not have to prove the employer had a duty to prevent the injury or illness. Generally, workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for an injured worker. Aside from limited circumstances, you can only pursue compensation from your employer through work comp. Workers’ compensation also only pays medical expenses and lost wages.
Personal injury cases generally require you to prove another party caused your injuries. You must prove another party either intentionally harmed you or harmed you through negligence. A negligence claim requires you to prove that person or entity owed you a duty of care but failed to satisfy that duty which caused your injuries. Under a personal injury claim, you can pursue additional forms of economic and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Third party lawsuits and workers' compensation claims
In most cases, workplace injury victims cannot sue their employer. There are situations where the employee can sue the employer or third parties. In some cases the employee can pursue a workers’ compensation claim and sue a third party. Third parties might include contractors, regulators, or other parties who negligently caused injuries.
A skilled work injury lawyer can evaluate your potential claims and determine the best approach in your case. Contact our Denver workers’ compensation attorneys for a free case review.
Frequently asked questions for Denver workers' compensation attorneys
You have the right to decide where you receive medical care; however, workers' compensation pays when you see approved healthcare providers. After selecting a provider on the employer's list, you and your work injury lawyer may decide a different provider is appropriate.
It is also important to understand that work comp pays providers on a schedule which may pay less than health insurance or other payment arrangements. Not all providers want to accept the regulated fee amounts. Your doctor may not take work comp cases at all.
It is also important that you receive care from providers who specialize in your injury or illness and know how to evaluate work comp injuries for disability. General practitioners and other providers who may not specialize in your condition may not be the best provider for your case. Your work comp lawyer will discuss your options with you.
The general rule in Colorado is that workers' comp is the exclusive remedy for employees injured on the job. There are some situations in which you can file a personal injury lawsuit instead of or in addition to workers' comp.
You can sue third parties when they cause an injury on the job even if you choose to also receive workers' compensation benefits. For example, you're on the job driving between worksites and get into a car accident. You can receive work comp benefits but also file insurance claims against the at-fault driver. You can also pursue auto insurance claims for underinsured motorist coverage. Typically your auto policy will exclude medpay when you also have a workers' compensation claim.
Another potential exception is when you are an independent contractor rather than an employee. Colorado workers' compensation only applies to employees. If you are an independent contractor, you may sue your employer.
You can sue your employer instead of accepting workers' comp if your employer committed an intentional tort. An intentional tort is a wrongdoing the employer intended to perform. Some of the most common intentional torts include:
- False imprisonment
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
- Invasion of privacy
If you believe your employer intentionally caused you harm, talk to your Denver workers' comp lawyer about your situation. Your lawyer can evaluate your options.
Sometimes employers mistakenly believe if they ignore your claim and refuse to report it, then they can avoid the work comp claim. You have the right to file a workers' comp claim on your own. Our Denver workers' comp attorneys can file a claim with the Colorado Division of Workers' Compensation. You have two years from the date of injury to file a claim.
Under Colorado law, employers must carry workers' compensation insurance even if they only have one employee. If your employer denies having insurance coverage after a workplace accident, you should report your employer to the Colorado Division of Workers' Compensation immediately. Our Denver workers' compensation lawyer can help you file this claim.
Under Colorado law, an employer who fails to maintain coverage still owes the same benefits due under the statute. The employer also must pay a 50% penalty. You should expect that if your employer failed to maintain coverage, it will probably make it difficult to obtain benefits. You should hire a work injury lawyer right away to hold your employer accountable.
The common reasons insurance companies and employers deny claims is:
- Inaccurate or incomplete information in the claim
- They believe the injury is not work-related
- They believe the case needs further investigation
The best way to protect yourself from a denied claim is to hire a workers' compensation attorney right away.
When you pursue both workers' compensation benefits and a third party personal injury claim, you may have to reimburse workers' compensation for what you received in benefits. Under the workers' compensation statute, the work comp carrier is allowed to seek repayment out of the third party claim. This is known as subrogation.
In Colorado the state administers work comp through the state government office of the Division of Workers' Compensation. The Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) is a division of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE). The main office for the DWC is located in Denver, Colorado, just minutes away from the Denver office for Front Range Injury Attorneys.
Most people will obtain work comp benefits without attending a hearing at the DWC unless benefits are contested by your employer. If you need to file a claim for workers' comp, you can file online without appearing at their downtown Denver office.
Additionally, several insurance companies insuring work comp benefits have offices in Denver, Colorado. These include Travelers and Pinnacol.
Contact our Denver workers' compensation law firm
If you or a family member suffered a workplace injury or illness in Denver or other parts of Colorado, contact the Denver workers’ compensation lawyers at Front Range Injury Attorneys today. We fight hard to get injured workers the medical care they need and the compensation they deserve. Contact our Denver law firm today for a free case review.