Colorado Workers' Compensation Overview
Workers' compensation is insurance provided by state and federal laws to protect injured workers. When an employee is injured in an accident occurring on the job, regardless of fault, workers' compensation benefits will cover the person's medical costs and a portion of their weekly salary. There may be a few exceptions to coverage, in the case of accidents occurring due to drug or alcohol use or because of horseplay, but generally benefits exist for injuries. When an accident occurs it must have occurred during the course of employment or arising out of the employment. At times a person may be traveling or not on a work site yet still be under the direction of their employer when an accident occurs, so is still entitled to benefits. There are numerous complexities in determining coverage and benefits when filing for a workers' compensation claim and it is best to retain a knowledgeable Denver workers' compensation attorney to work on your behalf.
Colorado Workers' Compensation Process
When an accident at work occurs that results in an injury, this must be reported to your employer within 4 days following the accident. Failure to report in a timely manner could jeopardize your rights to benefits. Following the report to your employer, they are obligated to report it to their workers' comp insurance company, who will provide you an authorized list of doctors to see for treatment. The degree of injury, treatment and amount of time allowed off of work can be determined by this doctor. Obtaining the services of Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn can assist you in obtaining an independent medical review if necessary, to ensure you obtain to level of care you are entitled to.
There can be injuries that prevent you from ever performing the same work you had done previously, in which case you may be allowed vocational training. The degree of impairment you suffer also allows you to obtain a permanent partial disability benefit based on a set schedule set by the Division of Workers' Compensation. Although this schedule is supposed to be straightforward, many disputes can arise and it is best to retain your own legal counsel to ensure you receive the best possible partial disability rating you are entitled to. Our office can set up an independent review of your disability to assist in this matter.
Overall, allowing an employer and their insurance company to dictate what might be your rights to benefits is not in your best interests. Having the experience and dedication of our legal staff working closely on what benefits you are entitled to can help in maximizing your potential compensation.
Benefits of Workers' Compensation in Colorado
When an employee is injured at work, they are entitled to certain benefits by law. Workers' compensation laws allow for an injured worker to be entitled to medical treatment for their injuries as well as a percentage of their weekly pay. There are other benefits that that can also be provided when the injured worker is partially or permanently disabled. To find out if you qualify for certain benefits, contact a Denver workers' compensation lawyer to discuss the facts of your accident.
What are Your Workers' Comp Benefits?
There is a considerable amount of rules and regulations that govern workers' compensation claims. Without the knowledgeable assistance from an attorney at Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn, you may not receive the full advantage of those benefits. While you may be entitled to medical treatment and pay, if your claim is denied because your employer doesn't believe your injury was work related, you will need an aggressive approach from a skilled attorney to help you get your claim reviewed. Medical treatment is covered, but once again certain medical procedures, such as surgeries, may be denied by the insurance company unless you have a strong advocate using the system of independent medical examinations or reviews to your benefit.
In addition, when you are permanently disabled, you have a right to possible long term permanent disability benefits if you cannot return to the job you were once performing. You may be able to obtain the disability payment in a lump sum as opposed to over a period of time. You may also be able to obtain vocational rehabilitation, if the situation warrants it. For those who lost a loved one in a work related injury, the survivors have a right to certain death benefits. Find out more about your benefits by contacting our office today to schedule your initial consultation.
Rights of Injured Workers and Workers' Compensation
As an injured worker, you have rights to workers' compensation benefits. Knowing what they are can make the difference between obtaining them or having your claim possibly denied. Your employer and their workers' comp insurance company work together in processing your claim. Unfortunately, this leaves you at the effect of their decisions in the outcome of your treatment and claim, without the full knowledge of the claims process or your rights. By retaining a Denver workers' compensation attorney, you can protect your rights and take action to fight to ensure you get the benefits you are entitled to when injured.
What are Your Workers' Compensation Rights?
The Workers' compensation laws in Colorado allow for an injured worker the right to certain benefits if they are injured on the job. These include:
- Medical treatment for their injuries
- Partial payment of their weekly pay
- Permanent disability when unable to return to your old job
- Vocational rehabilitation as needed
- Right to hire an attorney
- Appeals for denial of claims
- Dependency and death benefits
While you are afforded these rights, obtaining the benefits is another matter. Your employer could dispute the fact that your injury occurred on the job, immediately creating a problem for you on how to cover medical costs and lost wages. Or the workers' compensation insurance company could deny you further medical treatment or a necessary surgery based on their review. Without the help of a competent workers' compensation lawyer from Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn, you risk your rights to full benefits.
Our firm has the know-how to maneuver the complex system of rules and regulations that govern workers' compensation. With our assistance, we will fight for your right to get all possible benefits you are entitled to.
Filing for Workers' Compensation Benefits
If you are injured while on the job, whether you are in an office, at a work-site or traveling as part of your job, you are entitled to medical care and other benefits under the Colorado Division of Workers Compensation. As Colorado is a "no-fault" state, it does not matter who or what the cause of your injury was. All your medical care costs, any lost wages and any necessary disability payments are guaranteed to you by law.
To receive those benefits, however, it is very important that you file a written report with your employer within four days of your injury or accident and that you keep very good records of what happened and what medical treatments you receive. Because of the many rules and regulations involved in filing any medical insurance claim, you should contact a Denver Workers' Comp Lawyer at Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn to help you understand all of your rights. We have years of experience in dealing with all the red tape that comes with filing a workers' compensation insurance claim.
Denver Workers' Comp Settlement Lawyer
A settlement is when the parties in a legal dispute enter into an agreement without having to go to trial. In workers' comp cases there are two ways in which a case may be settled:
- By a "lump sum" agreement, where a single payment is given to the claimant to settle all of the unresolved issues of the case.
- By an agreement in which payments are made to the claimant over time.
Reaching a settlement for a worker's comp claim does not mean that you should settle for less than what you are entitled to in your case. A Denver workers' compensation lawyer who is intimately familiar with the Colorado workers' comp system and laws may be able to assist you in deciding which choice is best for you, determined by your unique, personal situation.
Settling Your Workers' Comp Claim
It is very important to understand that if you are receiving ongoing care with a doctor, there may not be a reason to settle your case right away. Once you do settle, you become totally responsible for all of the medical bills that you incur. You always have the option of going to trial if you want to receive compensation for your injuries without giving up your right to medical treatment. Trial attorneys at Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn are thoroughly familiar with the intricacies of workers' compensation law, and are committed to fighting for your rights.
If you decide to take a lump sum settlement know that you will be forfeiting some of your rights forever, including the right to future medical benefits, temporary and permanent disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and the right to reopen your claim. Making a decision of such magnitude should be tempered by sound legal advice. Our knowledgeable and caring attorneys have won one of the largest workers' compensation claim settlements to date. They may be able to offer you the help that you need when settling your claim.
Workers' Compensation Exposures
When you are involved in an accident or are injured while at work or when doing your job you are entitled to medical and other benefits through Workers' Compensation insurance. It does not matter who was responsible for the injury or accident as Colorado is a "no-fault" state. Your workers' comp benefits include medical expenses, compensation for any lost wages and partial or permanent disability coverage. While you are entitled to compensation when you are injured, you must follow all of the rules exactly when you file your claim in order to receive all the benefits you deserve. It is important that when you are involved in an accident or are injured on the job you should see a Denver workers' compensation attorney at Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn to advise you of your rights and help you file your claim.
Other Occupational Exposures
Workers' Compensation also can provide benefits to workers who have been exposed to other toxic substances or damaging influences in their workplace. These include exposure to toxic chemicals such as asbestos, repetitive motion causing carpel tunnel syndrome, exposure to loud noise causing loss of hearing, and injuries caused by any other stressful or hostile work environment.
If you have suffered from any accident, injury, disease or illness stemming from your job or occurring at the workplace, then you should see a workers' compensation exposure attorney at our office to learn about your rights and to receive all the medical and disability benefits you are entitled to. Our entire team of lawyers and paralegals are dedicated to helping job accident victims or workers exposed to damaging work environments and injures receive the help and medical care they deserve.
Has Your Workers' Comp Claim Been Denied?
Many employees are under the assumption that they will be fully protected in the case of an injury or accident in the workplace. They believe they do not have to worry, as their "workers' comp will take care of it." In the state of Colorado, though you are entitled to workers' comp benefits as part of a no fault system, you are limited to the amount adjudicated to you through that system. You may also find that your claim is denied for various reasons, when disputes arise with your employer and their workers' compensation insurance company. Who is going to fight for you and your rights? An experienced Denver workers' compensation lawyer from Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn is committed to representing workers' comp claim denials for loyal and dedicated employees like you.
There are a number of reasons why your claim may be denied. These include:
- The injury was caused by a pre-existing condition
- You did not receive medical treatment for the injury, so there is no documentation for your claim
- The injury was not a severe one
- The injury happened outside of the workplace
- You filed your claim too late
- You violated company policy/rules
No matter what the reason for your workers' comp claim being denied, a Denver workers' comp claim attorney has the expertise needed to maneuver through the worker's comp system's processes and procedures to help you fight for your rights to compensation. Having the support of skilled legal counsel can bring about a better outcome when appealing a denial of a valid claim. The process is confusing and difficult, as with many government agencies and having legal representation to guide you through the process is strongly advised.
Has Your Workers' Comp Claim Appeal Been Denied?
Denial of workers' comp claims happen more often than you may think. If your workers' comp claim appeal has been denied and you feel strongly that you are entitled to workers' comp benefits, don't give up hope. Whatever the reason for denial, your Denver workers' compensation lawyer will do whatever is necessary to appeal your case. They have many years of collective experience appealing denied claims and winning appeals benefits for their clients.
Our attorneys will thoroughly review what occurred during the filing of your claim. What exactly did your employer do or say? What did the insurance company do or say? Were there misunderstandings or lack of communication that contributed to the claim being denied? Once this investigation has been completed, the results will be used to build an appeal that supports your case.
The Worker's Comp Appeals Process in Denver
The appeals process in Denver consists of a number of sequential actions. First, your attorney will file your Petition to Review in a timely manner. The next step is to then file a brief in support of your appeal. The Administrative Law Judge will review your appeal, and may issue an order. A hearing may also be held. If an order is not issued, your case is moved to the Industrial Claims Review Office (a panel of 2 or more appellate Administrative Law Judges) for their review of your case. A written decision is then issued. If you are not satisfied with this decision, you have the recourse to appeal to the Colorado Court of Appeals.
As you can see, the appeals process can be a complex, lengthy and time consuming one. Though you are not required to hire a lawyer to pursue your appeal, a simple mistake on your part such as failing to file the correct form, or filing late may result in you losing your case. It is in your best interest to hire a capable Denver workers' comp appeal attorney to represent you. While you are taking care of yourself after your workplace injury or accident, the team of attorneys at Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn will take care of your legal needs.