Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance coverage for employees. Employers are required to provide this type of coverage so that people who are injured or develop an occupational illness on the job can receive the funds they need for wage losses and medical bills.
If you are following a workers’ comp claim against your employer, there are several different procedures you must follow in order to be successful. The following article will outline the general steps you should take.
If you’re injured on the job, workers’ comp laws require you to report your injuries to your employer as soon as possible. The deadline is often with 30 days or less. In Colorado, you should try to report your injury in writing within four working days. If you miss this deadline, you may lose up to one day’s compensation for each day’s delay.
Independent Medical Examinations
Once you’ve submitted your injury report, the workers’ comp insurer may require you to see a chosen physician. This visit is typically referred to as an Independent Medical Exam (IME). The insurer will usually select a physician who will create a report in their favor.
During the exam, you will need to give a detailed account of how the injury happened, your medical history and any symptoms or pain you’ve experienced since the injury occurred. The doctor will ask you a variety questions to gather all necessary information and will perform a physical exam. It is important to comply with the physician’s request, so long as they are within reason.
Impartial Medical Examinations
This type of exam is scheduled by Colorado’s workers’ comp agency, using a randomly selected doctor on their list of physicians who are considered impartial in these types of matters. This kind of exam helps to reduce the bias often found in IMEs.
These impartial exams can be extremely important if your workers’ comp claim is taken to court. The law usually requires the impartial physician’s report to be taken as binding medical evidence in a workers’ compensation case. A judge will likely accept the impartial doctor’s report as truth, even if there is disagreement between multiple exam reports. Thus, this type of exam is very important.
Workers’ compensation hearings are held to determine whether the employee did indeed suffer a work-related injury or occupational disease, whether their medical treatment was reasonable and should be covered by the insured and whether a previous injury was at all responsible for the new injury. The hearing will also cover the employee’s weekly average wage and their extent of disability.
Hiring a Lawyer for Your Workers’ Comp Claim
Being injured on the job can leave you at a complete loss. Hiring an attorney can help you better understand your employee rights in the state of Colorado and receive the compensation you rightly deserve.
Take a look at our other information regarding injuries at work and how the dedicated lawyers at Heuser & Heuser can ensure that your workers’ comp claim will stay on the right track. Give us a call today.