I was Injured At Work What are My Rights?

Getting hurt at work can be scary and overwhelming. In addition to the physical pain you may be experiencing, you’re likely also concerned about paying your bills while out of work. Fortunately, Colorado law and the worker’s compensation system protect many of your rights and provide compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. Understanding your rights and hiring a worker’s compensation attorney will help you get the benefits you deserve. 

Your Rights if You’re Injured at Work in Colorado 

If you are injured at work, you can receive workers compensation benefits. These benefits will pay for your medical care and provide temporary or permanent disability payments depending on how long you cannot work. If a loved one dies after getting hurt at work, their next of kin could be eligible for death benefits. 

If your injury happened at work or was caused by your work, you should be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits even if you were partially or fully responsible. There are some exceptions, like ignoring a safety policy or coming to work intoxicated. Even in these cases, you may be able to receive reduced benefits. 

What if My Employer Says They Don’t Have Workers Comp? 

In Colorado, there are very few exceptions to the requirement for employers to carry worker’s compensation insurance. Whether you work full-time or part-time, your employer is likely violating the law if the company does not have coverage. Employers that do not have worker’s compensation insurance are still legally responsible for paying your medical expenses and other benefits in addition to a 25% penalty. The company could also face fines for failing to be properly insured. 

Sometimes, employers falsely claim they do not have worker’s compensation coverage to stop injured employees from filing claims. Still, the employer or the insurance company must pay for your benefits. Your attorney can help you navigate this situation. 

Best Practices to Report an Injury on the Job

The first step to any worker’s compensation claim is reporting your injury. Colorado law sets a time limit and other requirements for injured workers to notify their employees about their injuries. Employees have ten days after their injury to provide a report to their employer in writing. Many companies have accident forms to fill out, so you should start by asking about these. If forms are unavailable, the written statement should just be a few sentences explaining what happened, when and where the injury occurred, and where on your body you were injured. 

Depending on your company’s procedures and response to your injury, you can give your report to your supervisor or HR. If your injury creates a medical emergency, you should seek treatment immediately. Otherwise, you should report your injury before getting medical care to make sure you’re seeing an approved provider. 

The next reporting step injured workers must complete is filing their worker’s compensation claim with the Colorado Division of Workers Compensation. You have two years after getting hurt at work to file, so taking the time to consult a lawyer before filing can be a good idea. 

Injured at Work? Contact Our Law Offices 

While filing a worker’s compensation claim independently is possible, hiring an attorney can help reduce stress and get the best possible outcome. This is especially important if you think your injury might affect your ability to work long-term. The Law Offices of Miguel Martinez will fight for compensation on your behalf. Contact us to discuss your situation today!

Image Source: WOSUNAN/Shutterstock