Workers’ compensation laws in Colorado are designed to protect workers who are injured at work or develop an illness or disease related to the work that they do. Most states in the US have a set of workers’ compensation laws for employees who work in both private and public sectors. Colorado has a no-fault compensation system, alongside other legal protections. The no-fault system states that, regardless of who was at fault for a workplace injury or illness, the employee will be entitled to workers’ compensation. 

About the Colorado No-Fault System

The no-fault system was developed as a method of providing more balance between the coverage for injured or sick employees while having a minimal financial impact on the employer. Even if the injuries were caused as a direct result of the employee’s actions, the employer must agree to provide insurance that covers the costs of medical care, any loss of income, and permanent disability. However, in return for this, the employee agrees not to file any civil lawsuits against the employer. In general, these laws ensure that workers are compensated, although it may be necessary in some cases to hire a Colorado workers’ compensation attorney in the case of a claim denial or when other issues come up. You may also want to get the advice of an attorney before you get workers comp in Colorado to ensure that all requirements are met.  

Colorado Workers’ Compensation Process

The standard process for workers’ compensation laws in Colorado requires that the claim process begins after an employee suffers an injury on the job. With the exception of anything that is life-threatening, the employee is required to report their injury to their employer immediately, no later than four days after the injury has occurred in the form of a written and verbal notification. However, failing to provide a written notice of the injury does not always prevent the employee from making a valid claim. However, in this event, the insurance company may be more likely to challenge the injury, since a written notice is taken as proof. The employee is also required to submit a notification in writing if they are diagnosed with an illness related to their occupation. 

Making a Claim

It’s important for both employers and employees to be well-versed in the process of making a claim. To make a valid claim, the law states that the employee must be unable to work due to the illness or injury for at least three days. The insurance company has twenty days to provide notification as to whether the claim has been approved or denied. Employees should also be aware of any preferred healthcare providers on their employers list. For the claim to be valid, employees who have suffered an injury or are suffering with the symptoms of an occupational illness will need to receive treatment from a provider that is listed. 

Approving or Denying the Claim

If the claim is approved, the employee will receive bi-weekly compensations from the insurance company as compensation for any wages lost. In general, the compensation payments will be equal to two-thirds of the typical weekly wage for the employee, with the weekly amount not exceeding $810. However, in some cases, the benefits may be denied by the insurance company, even in the case of an employee sustaining a serious injury or illness. The law in Colorado allows employees to request that the case is presented to an administrative law judge, who will then make a decision that could override the decision of the insurance company based on the evidence including the initial accident or illness report, any medical records, and witness testimonies. 

Whether you are running or thinking of starting your own business in Colorado, it’s important to understand how the workers’ compensation laws work for this state. As a no-fault state, workers’ compensation insurance will cover any employee injuries or illnesses regardless of fault, along with providing peace of mind to employers that employees will not bring a claim against them as a result. While the majority of claims are accepted and paid out for, you may benefit from consulting with a workers’ compensation attorney in the event of a claim being denied or to help you find the best insurance policy for your business.