A work-related injury can be frustrating because not only are you concerned about the physical consequences of the injury but also the potential repercussions on your employment. You should not be afraid of your employer after you have already suffered an injury.
However, it is against the law for employers to retaliate against employees who report workplace injuries. To better understand your rights, speak to a Westminster workers’ compensation lawyer who can better advise you on how to proceed. A distinguished personal injury attorney has the knowledge and experience necessary to help you file a strong claim for damages.
Common Workplace Injuries
Unfortunately, being hurt at work is not an uncommon situation. Some of the more typical ways in which this can happen are:
- Repetitive injury (such as one caused by typing)
- Slip and fall
- Being caught in machinery
- Prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals that cause illness
- Attack by a coworker
Workers’ Compensation Process
In Colorado, almost all employers are expected to carry workers’ compensation coverage that is paid by them. This can be done through self-funding or commercial insurance. All injured employees must report the incident to their employers in writing within four working days. Any delays in reporting can lead to losing compensation for days missed at work.
If an accident occurs at work, employers have ten days to report the incident to their insurance agency. If an employer does not do so, the individual should fill out a Workers’ Claim for Compensation form themselves. If they miss more than three days or shifts at work, the insurer has to review the claims and provide them with either an Admission of Liability or Notice of Contest. After missing at least three days the employee will be eligible for lost wages up until they can return to work. If denied, they should file an Application for Expeditated Hearing within 45 days of receiving the denial.
How to Proceed after Experiencing Claims Issues
For ongoing issues with workers’ compensation claims, there are a few options to can consider. Someone may have a prehearing conference where an administrative judge will listen to both sides to help them reach an agreement if they can. Settlement conferences allow individuals to meet informally to try to work out their issues, typically it will include the employee, a Westminster workers’ compensation lawyer, and the insurance agents.
An injured employee can choose to have an arbitration agreement where they will meet in front of an arbitrator who will make a binding decision on the issue. When none of these options work, the only remaining choice is to go before an administrative judge who will hear all the issues and make a decision. This is similar to all other civil trials, except that it involves the use of administrative rules and regulations with a n administrative judge.
Talking to a Westminster Workers’ Compensation Attorney
After suffering an injury at work, you are probably unsure of what your next steps are. While you are focusing on your physical recovery, let your attorney handle the legal aspects so that you are not overwhelmed.
Even if you have followed all the correct steps and filled out all the right forms, your claim may be denied. If that happens you will want a lawyer that will fight on your behalf to make sure you receive everything you are entitled to.
For situations that do end up going to trial in an administrative court you want a Westminster workers’ compensation lawyer that is well versed in administrative law and its procedures to protect your rights.