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Handy Guidance for Colorado Workers’ Compensation

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Denver, COAnyone in need of, or thinking about filing a Colorado Denied Workers Comp Claim would be wise to remain conversant with applicable laws, requirements and updates to statutes in concert with an attorney to ensure you haven’t inadvertently hamstrung your claim by missing a deadline, or dropping the ball on various requirements. Provided you sought the advice and expertise of a qualified attorney for guidance early in the process, a denied claim has a good chance of being reversed considering you had all your ducks in a row.

However, if you didn’t the results run the risk of being somewhat disappointing.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) maintain a comprehensive online resource for any worker injured on the job, or concerned that such an injury could occur.

For example, the State of Colorado requires that an injury is duly reported to the employer in writing within four working days of any injury. This is true even if you have already reported the injury to your employer verbally. Under the law, verbal notification of an injury is insufficient to satisfy the Workers’ Compensation statutes observed by the state. Any verbal notification or otherwise needs to be supported by a written notification within four working days.

Miss the deadline, and you run the risk of having your claim dinged with penalties. For example, for every day you wait beyond the four-day deadline to file a written report and summary of your injury, you could lose a days’ compensation for each day the report is late: this is especially true if your Colorado employer has duly posted signage in the workplace stipulating the reporting requirements for workplace injuries.

Any inability on your part to produce a report for whatever reason is not an excuse. Colorado allows a third party to file on your behalf, if needed.

It’s also important to seek medical attention immediately following a workplace injury. That not only benefits you, but also important in that the employer may recognize a dedicated medical provider, to which you would be referred for treatment by a doctor with a listing on the designated provider document. By notifying your employer of your injury right away, you’ll benefit from guidance as to whether or not, for purposes of workers’ compensation, it is best to seek treatment from your own doctor, an emergency room, or through a designated medical provider who will then become your authorized treating physician for the purpose of the job-related injury you have incurred. Had you simply gone to the emergency room or attended to your own doctor outside of your employer’s dedicated treatment providers, it just adds delay and confusion to the overall process.

The State Government of Colorado provides a detailed FAQ online with regard to all aspects and requirements of making a Colorado workers’ compensation claim.

Of course, there is always the risk your claim could be stamped CO Denied Workers Comp Claim – keyword, ‘denied.’ No one wants that. However, assuming you have all your ducks in a row with a good Colorado workers’ compensation attorney in tow, your claim would have a good foundation for a spirited defense and a reversal of your denied claim status.

Further, legislation is often introduced to update, and sometimes expand existing workers’ compensation statutes. In 2017, there were three updates signed into law.

SB17-214 is the voluntary firefighter cancer benefits program that allows an employer to participate in a voluntary firefighter cancer benefits program, as a multiple employer health trust to provide benefits to firefighters by paying contributions into the established trust. It was signed into law in May, and became effective immediately.

HB17-1119 is the Colorado Uninsured Employers Act. According to a summary of the bill, “this act will use penalty money collected by the division to fund payment of benefits to workers injured while employed by an uninsured employer. Penalties will be paid into the fund starting in 2017 and claims for benefits will be accepted in 2020. It will also give the Director more authority to settle penalties for failure to insure, and raises the payment for fatal claims with no dependents to $20,000.” The legislation came into effect on July 1st of this year.

And finally, the adoption of HB17-1229 on the first of July in 2018 “will allow a claim for mental impairment benefits in cases with no physical injury even if the source of the trauma is something within the workers’ usual experience if certain conditions are met.”

Known as an act for Workers’ Compensation For Mental Impairment, the bill adds the definitions ‘psychologically traumatic event and serious bodily injury to the workers compensation statutes for the purposes of clarifying a worker’s right to compensation for any claim of mental impairment.

The forgoing provides additional protections to workers filing a Workers’ Compensation claim in Colorado. However it remains important, in order to have a successful claim and to avoid the need for a Colorado Denied Claim lawsuit, to ensure a claim is filed correctly with detailed documentation and timelines. A qualified attorney would ensure such criteria are met, in order to achieve the best outcome possible.

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