The Colorado workers’ compensation system was created to provide the necessary financial support and resources for injured or deceased workers and their families after a work-related injury or death occurs. Employers must obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage to provide medical benefits, temporary wage benefits, and permanent disability benefits.
Because the Colorado workers’ compensation system is extremely complex and difficult to navigate, and can very quickly turn adversarial, it is often necessary to seek legal representation from an Aurora workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you are receiving the workers’ compensation benefits to which you may be entitled.
In addition to medical benefits, there are both temporary and permanent disability benefits provided for under the Workers’ Compensation Act. In order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, the injured workers must follow certain rules and procedures.
The first procedural requirement is to report the workplace accident/injury to the employer as soon as possible. Any delay in reporting the workplace accident may result in a delay in the commencement of workers’ compensation benefits, or a complete denial of the claim.
Role of an Experienced Attorney
Most often, it is crucial for an injured worker to seek representation with an Aurora workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you are receiving those benefits to which you may be entitled. A workers’ compensation attorney holds the workers’ compensation carrier and employer accountable by filing a Worker’s Claim for Compensation with the State of Colorado Department of Labor — Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Your workers’ compensation attorney will handle all correspondence with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, which alleviates a great deal of stress off the injured worker, so you can focus on recovery from injuries sustained in the workplace accident.
People who obtain legal representation to process their workers’ compensation claim are more informed of their rights and receive better compensation because workers’ compensation lawyers are well versed in the law and practices of the Colorado workers’ compensation system.
Steps to take Following an Injury
Report the Injury: An injured worker begins to get medical expenses covered under the Colorado workers’ compensation program when the employee files a Worker’s Claim for Compensation, and when the employer files a First Report of Injury. The employer should complete a First Report of Injury with the injured worker to obtain all the necessary information surrounding the accident.
Seek Medical Care: It is extremely important to seek medical care right away following a workplace injury. Once the incident is reported to the employer, they should provide the injured worker with a list of designated providers through which they have authorized treatment.
If the situation requires emergency medical treatment, present to the nearest emergency room immediately. Ongoing medical care can only occur with a designated provider through the workers’ compensation insurance plan.
Employer Files Claim with their Insurance Company: Once the First Report of Injury is filed, the employer must also file a claim with their workers’ compensation carrier. The employer has ten (10) days from the date of injury to file the claim with their insurance company.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Accepts or Denies the workers’ compensation claim: All claims must be processed and analyzed for approval or denial within twenty (20) days from the date of notification from the employer/injured worker to the insurer. If the claim is admitted, the insurer will file a General Admission of Liability, indicating the benefits to which they are admitting in the particular claim. If the claim is denied, the insurer will file a Notice of Contest. Often, claims are denied due to “ongoing investigation” by the insurer, or the insurer deems the accident/injuries are not work-related.
What to Do if a Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied
It is important to seek legal counsel if your workers’ compensation claim has been denied by your employer’s insurance company. An Aurora workers’ compensation attorney will file an Application for Hearing with the Office of Administrative Courts to resolve any issues, whether it be a complete denial of the claim or a denial of particular benefits.
These administrative hearings are set approximately four months out from the date of the application, and it may take several months after the hearing date to receive a decision (Order) from the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
During the hearing, the insurance company will present evidence and testimony to support their denial of your claim (or particular benefits). Your workers’ compensation attorney in Aurora can present evidence and testimony in support of the claim as well. Once both sides have presented their case, the ALJ issues a decision supporting or denying the claim. An appeal is available under certain circumstances.
Speak with an Aurora Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Our Aurora workers’ compensation attorneys help clients to receive the necessary compensation for work-related injuries caused by an accident or occupational disease. Your workers’ compensation attorney will fight for you and attempt to obtain the maximum allowable compensation for your injuries. Schedule your comprehensive case review today without further delay.