Factories throughout Colorado provide many of the items we rely upon in our daily lives. Despite recent increases in automation, many people still earn a living by working in these factories. Unfortunately, factories are still some of the most dangerous places to work.
People who suffer injuries that result in a permanent reduction in their ability to work are entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits. Depending on the severity of the injury, these benefits may be temporary or the sole lifelong source of income.
A Denver catastrophic factory injury lawyer can dedicate themselves to helping you recover the benefits you deserve. If you want to know more, speak with a skilled workers’ compensation attorney that can help.
What Happens After a Workplace Injury?
Both employees and employers have responsibilities after an injury. Employees must report the injury to their supervisor in writing no more than four days after it happens. If this deadline is missed, the worker may face difficulty obtaining medical treatment and their claim for benefits may be denied. The employer must then refer the worker to a list of doctors who are authorized to treat the injury. The employer must also report the injury to their insurance carrier.
All medical treatment given to the employee is paid for by the insurance company, provided that the worker attends sessions with the approved doctor. It is the responsibility of the employee to attend all sessions to give themselves the best chance for recovery and to allow the doctor to properly evaluate their future work prospects.
This doctor’s evaluation will play a key role in determining which, if any, permanent disability benefits will be issued in the case. Most often, permanent disability benefits are issued in situations that involve a catastrophic injury. A Denver catastrophic factory injury lawyer can help the injured party pursue disability benefits.
Defining Catastrophic Injuries
Unlike many other states, Colorado law does not specify a catastrophic injury. Instead, it defines a catastrophic injury as one that will have a permanent negative effect on a person’s future ability to work. Factory workers are especially vulnerable to these sorts of injuries due to the presence of hazardous machinery, noisy workspaces, and the use of inherently dangerous materials.
Colorado Statute 8-42-107 (2) provides a list of injuries that are considered catastrophic. In short, these are physical injuries that result in the total loss, or loss of functionality in an appendage. This list also includes blindness, deafness, and loss of teeth.
The statute continues to provide a set number of benefit weeks that will be issued in the event of these injuries. If a doctor states that the worker will never have use of that body part again, the insurance company is obligated to follow this table in their benefits package.
With injuries that are not on this list, the insurance company will rely upon the doctor’s opinion as to when and how effectively a person may return to the workforce.
Potential Benefits and Compensation
Fortunately, not all workplace injuries are catastrophic. Many people are injured but can return to work at full capacity after treatment. In these situations, workers are paid at a set rate of two-thirds their average weekly wage for any time missed because of the injury. This is known as temporary total disability benefits.
The most severe injuries can result in the worker being permanently disabled, or even killed. Here, the benefits will consist of the bi-weekly payments of two-thirds the average wage for the rest of the worker’s life, or in case of death, for their expected lifespan.
Working With a Denver Catastrophic Factory Injury Attorney
Many workers’ compensation claims are handled in a smooth and efficient way. A worker is injured, they make their claim, and they are paid benefits. But some cases are more complicated. Perhaps the insurance company and the worker disagree as to the extent of the injuries.
Or maybe the claim is being denied in total. A Denver catastrophic factory injury lawyer can protect your rights and can collect workers’ compensation benefits for all workplace injuries.
All workers have the right to appeal any benefit package offered by the insurance company. The State of Colorado offers many avenues to pursue these claims ranging from settlement sessions to full judges’ hearings. A Denver catastrophic factory injury attorney can help you choose the path right for you.