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Denver Workers’ Compensation Case Review: Duty to Report Injuries

Duty to Report Work Injuries only triggered when compensation and benefits are “payable.”

Colorado Law requires employers and their insurers to notify the Division of Workers’ Compensation of injuries “for which compensation and benefits are payable.”  CRS §8-43-103(1).

Mr. Flores claimed he injured his back on September 24, 2012 when he and other co-workers moved a 23 foot long cast iron gas pipe by hand. Although he reported the injury, when asked if he wanted to go to a physician or try some home remedies like Ibuprofen, a heating pad, and lotion – he choose the home remedies.

Two days later Mr. Flores informed his Safety Manager that he felt better and could resume his normal duties.  The next day the employer terminated Mr. Flores for concerns about his willingness to “pull his own weight” and tardy arrivals at work.

Mr. Flores became upset, demand treatment for his low back, and said he would sue the company.  When the case went to hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) determined that Mr. Flores had not sustained a work related injury and denied benefits.

The ALJ also denied a claim for a penalty against the respondents for failing to report the injury to the Division of Workers’ Compensation because he had missed three days of work.  The Industrial Claims Appeals Panel (ICAO) affirmed the denial, suggesting that the penalty would only apply in those cases where benefits are eventually found to be payable.

As always, how this or any other case we discuss in this blog would apply to your case depends on many more factors.  We urge you to call us to see if you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.  Workers’ Compensation is difficult, confusing, and very complex.  As leading Denver Workers’ Compensation Attorneys, Kaplan Morrell has helped thousands of injured workers since 1997 get the benefits they deserve.   Contact us here or call us at 303-780-7329 for your FREE CONSULTATION.

Cite:  Armando Montano Flores v. Willbros Construction, (WC No. 4-900-068, January 13, 2014)

Tags:  Penalties, Failure to Report