If you’ve been injured on the job, and are considering filing for workers’ compensation benefits in Colorado, you may be wondering how to file your claim, and what factors may affect your workers’ compensation case. Many injured workers believe that certain circumstances may affect whether or not their workers’ comp claim will be approved. Here are 4 things that many injured workers believe will affect their claim- but typically will not:
1- Your employer is at fault for the injury. Workers’ Compensation is a hundred year law that reflects a compromise between injured workers and workers. Employers must now pay for all injuries that happen on the job – even ones where the employee is negligent, or someone else is negligent, or there is no negligence at all. In exchange, employers cannot be sued by their employees for work injuries.
2- You can’t go back to the work you used to be able to do. Unfortunately we see this all too often. The law in Colorado is incredibly indifferent to employees who cannot go back to doing the kinds of work, or earning the income, they used to do before the injury. There are only two “disability” benefits under Workers’ Compensation after the Doctor says you are at Maximum Medical Improvement. The first is called Permanent Partial Disability and the amount is primarily based on loss of range of motion. It does not go up or down depending upon whether you are still working.
The second is called Permanent Total Disability and it covers wage loss after the injured worker reaches Maximum Medical Improvement. But it is incredibly difficult to get because the injured workers must be able to prove to a Judge that they are so disabled that that they cannot earn ANY Wages at ANY job in ANY location. If you can do a temporary, part-time, seasonal job at minimum wage – then you cannot get any compensation for wage loss after MMI under workers’ compensation.
(You may be eligible for other benefits under other laws, for example unemployment benefits, or social security disability benefits.)
3- You worked many years for the employer. While it may make you more sympathetic to treating or evaluating doctors, the law does not provide injured workers with more or less benefits simply because they have worked ten years, ten months or even ten hours with the employer before your injury.
4- Your employer closes. Your employer paid premiums to an insurance company to cover all your benefits for your injury. It does not matter what happens with your employer.
Workers’ Compensation in Colorado can be complicated. Let our experienced Denver area workers’ compensation attorneys help you navigate your claim and help get it approved. Call Us Toll Free! 303-780-7329 or click here for a free consultation!