When you have been injured or become sick through the course of your employment, there is recourse available to make sure that the expenses for your treatment and recuperation are covered. You may have heard about workers’ compensation, but not be sure exactly what it is or how it works. In these cases, a little bit of knowledge can go a very long way. Learn about workers’ compensation, what it is, how it can help you, how to apply for services in Colorado and how an attorney can help.
Workers’ compensation, also called workers’ comp, is a form of insurance that all employers are required to carry. Its purpose is to protect both the employer and the employee when someone is injured or ill due to his or her job duties. It is important to know how to file a claim when an incident occurs, so that you can move forward with your claim, and to know what to do if your claim is disputed, which sometimes happens. The Colorado government has a page with great resources to move forward.
Notifying the Employer
If you are injured or get ill on the job, the first thing you should do, especially if it is an emergency, is see a doctor. Taking care of yourself is always the most important aspect. Make sure that you keep detailed records of all of your medical treatments throughout the entire process. You may need these records to back up your claim down the road.
Then, inform your employer of the issue as soon as possible. In Colorado, you must report any illness or injury requiring workers’ compensation within four days to be eligible for coverage, unless you are physically or mentally incapable of doing so.
The Employer’s Responsibility
Your employer will provide you with a list of medical providers who are approved to treat you under workers’ compensation claims. They will also provide you with the paperwork you will need to complete, and will notify their insurance company within ten days of your report. The employer files the actual claim, called a First Report of Injury, based on your notification and the incident report you provide.
Ideally, at this point, your claim will be accepted, and you will receive compensation for your injuries while you recover, including medical bills, lost wages and more.
If the Claim is Denied
If the claim is denied, it is not the end of the world. This could occur because your employer challenges the claim, or because the insurance company deems it not serious enough. In such a case, you may need to contest the claim, which is where a qualified workman’s compensation attorney comes into the picture. It is not uncommon for the first claim to be denied, but an attorney is your best bet to prove that your injury was related to your job performance and is serious enough to warrant workers’ compensation.
If you have been denied a workers’ compensation claim and need representation, we are ready to help. Check out some more information about this issue, and give us a call for a review of your case with no obligation today.