How to Obtain Your Workers Compensation Benefits under Colorado Lawby R. Mack Babcock, Esq. (The Babcock Law Firm LLC: Colorado Workers Compensation)
Obtaining Worker Injury Benefits Under Colorado Law
We all work hard for our money to live, eat and play. So if we’re injured on-the-job unexpectedly, we expect the promises afforded to use under Colorado’s workers’ compensation law to be fulfilled.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case much of the time. Your employer and their workers’ comp insurance company try to find cracks in your story or situation – any avenue to avoid paying your benefits in full.
They’re a business, so their interests may not be entirely aligned with yours.
Types of Workers Compensation Benefits:
Medical – By Colorado statute, workers’ compensation is supposed to cover all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to your on-the-job injury.
Temporary partial disability – If you are able to still work in a limited role during your treatment, temporary partial disability benefits bridge the difference between your reduced wages and 2/3 of your pre-injury wages.
Temporary total disability – If you cannot work at all during your medical treatment, temporary total disability benefits will pay up to 2/3 of your average weekly wage before your injury.
Permanent partial disability – If you underwent invasive medical treatment like surgery or have permanent limitations despite medical treatment, you are entitled to a cash payment up to a certain amount based on an “impairment rating” assigned by your physician.
Permanent total disability – If you are unable to work at all following treatment and there is no other employment or retraining options for you, you are considered totally disabled and entitled to wage replacement benefits up to a certain amount.
Death – If the ultimate misfortune happens, dependent spouses and children will receive benefits up to a certain amount. They receive help with funeral and burial expenses along with weekly wage replacement benefits.
What you shouldn’t expect
The workers’ compensation system was setup to provide a no-fault system for workers to obtain medical treatment and wage loss benefits for on-the-job injuries. Workers’ comp provides a more dignified way to deal with on-the-job injuries .
In exchange, insured employers enjoy immunity from all “common law” liability suits and disability/wage loss benefits are capped at a certain amount.
Workers’ compensation in Colorado doesn’t provide additional compensation for pain and suffering. If the law doesn’t provide compensation for a particular injury then the worker cannot be compensated for it.