Each year, hundreds of workers in Colorado get injured in the workplace. It is vital that these workers understand their rights and know what steps to take to protect themselves in the pursuit of financial compensation. If you get injured in a workplace accident in Fort Collins, contact a personal injury lawyer at Cannon Law for immediate legal assistance.
Get Medical Care
Always put your health and safety first. If you sustain an injury within the course and scope of employment, your first priority is to seek medical care. If you wait to see a doctor, your employer or its insurance company may use this as a reason to reject your claim or reduce your payout. You have a responsibility to mitigate your losses, meaning to do what you can to minimize the damage caused by a workplace accident. Delaying medical care could be viewed as a failure to mitigate your losses.
Colorado’s workers’ compensation law allows employers to select pre-approved physicians to treat employees. After an accident, you must choose your doctor according to your employer’s approved medical provider list. Your employer must provide at least four options in a notification letter once you report the injury. If your employer does not give you this list within seven days of reporting the accident, you can choose your own provider.
Report the Injury to Your Employer
If you wish to qualify for workers’ compensation insurance benefits for a workplace injury, you must report the incident to your employer as soon as possible, but no later than 10 working days from the date that the injury occurred. You must notify your employer in writing. Even if 10 days have already passed, you should still give your employer written notice of the injury or illness. On the date of your accident, request an accident report from your supervisor or manager, if possible.
File a Report Directly With the Division of Workers’ Compensation
In addition to notifying your employer, you must also report your work-related injury directly to the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation. You can do this by filling out the Workers’ Claim for Compensation form (WC-15) and mailing it to the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation, Customer Service Unit at 633 17th St., Suite 400, Denver, CO 80202. Be sure to make a copy to keep for your own records.
Gather Information and Evidence
While you wait for a decision from the Division of Workers’ Compensation, gather as much information and evidence pertaining to the workplace accident as possible. This may include photographs from the scene, surveillance footage of the accident taking place, signed eyewitness statements, an accident report, copies of your medical records, and any communications sent to you by your employer or an insurance company.
Know Your Rights
A successful workers’ compensation claim in Colorado could lead to financial benefits for your past and future required medical care, about two-thirds of your lost wages, and disability costs. If you have reason to believe that someone else’s negligence caused your workplace accident, however, you may be eligible for greater compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Note that you cannot sue your employer for negligence after you accept a workers’ comp settlement. You can, however, file both types of claims if a third party is responsible, such as a coworker or contractor. You should always speak to an attorney about your particular case before accepting a settlement.
Contact a Work Injury Lawyer Near You
Do not assume that your employer or a workers’ compensation insurance company has your best interests in mind during a work injury claim. Both of these parties will want to limit their liability for your accident as much as possible. The best way to protect yourself is by hiring a work injury lawyer in Fort Collins to represent you. You can trust your attorney to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf or take your case to court, if necessary. Request a free case consultation online or by calling Cannon Law at (970) 471-7170.