While getting injured at work is the last thing you want to happen to you, it is inevitable. It’s how you prepare for and respond to it that can make all the difference in how it will turn out.
In the event of a work-related injury, your best way forward—aside, of course, from seeking treatment— is to notify your employer right away. Time is of the essence, and putting off reporting your injury can result in your workers’ comp benefits being reduced or even forfeited.
So now comes the bottom-line question: How much time do you have after your accident to report your workplace injury? This varies by state. If you’re based in Colorado, here are a few things you should know about the process of reporting your injury as stipulated in the state’s workers’ comp laws.
The Ins and Outs of Reporting Your Work-Related Injury
Workers’ compensation laws in Colorado indicate that injured workers should notify their employer within four working days of the incident. The report must be done in writing.
Failure to report your injury to your employer within the specified time frame doesn’t necessarily mean automatic forfeiture of your workers’ comp benefits. However, this is one of the things you want to avoid, as you can lose a day’s worth of your benefits for each day you fail to report to your employer.
Your employer has 10 days to report it to their insurance company, which also has 20 days to either confirm or deny the claim. Confirmation means they will provide compensation for your medical treatment costs and lost wages – which could be equivalent to two-thirds of your weekly wage. Workers’ compensation benefits are nontaxable.
What to Do If Your Claim is Denied
There are various potential reasons your workers’ compensation claim can get reduced or denied. Aside from what’s mentioned above, violating safety rules, testing positive for drugs or alcohol, and intentionally misleading your employer are a few of the reasons you can also lose your workers’ comp benefits.
If your claim got denied or reduced, find out the exact reason for it. Once you determine the reason, appeal the decision. The denial letter should indicate a deadline for filing your appeal. However, before you launch an appeal, you may want to talk to your employer (or their insurance carrier) to know whether the dispute can be easily resolved, as there are instances when the denial could be due to a mere clerical error or misunderstanding.
When contemplating appealing the decision, it’s also worth keeping in mind that it can be a complicated legal process best handled by an experienced workers’ comp attorney. It generally entails that you attend a hearing before an administrative law judge, either through the state workers’ comp board or the labor department.
Workers’ Comp Services in Grand Junction, CO
At WorkPartners Occupational Health, we offer workers’ comp services, through which we provide injured workers with comprehensive care and efficient assistance with the claim process to help them bounce back from their injury and ensure they fully maximize their benefits.
To learn more about our workers’ comp services or to schedule an appointment with us, call our staff today at (970) 241-5585 or use our convenient appointment request form.