What is the Colorado Workers Compensation Claim Process?

The Colorado workers' compensation claim process can be daunting because filing a claim and receiving compensation benefits can be complex and overwhelming. However, with the right information and support, workers who suffer an injury or illness due to their job can get the benefits they deserve.

Our experienced attorneys have put this simple guide to help you understand the workers' comp claims Process and navigate through it with relative ease. Whether you are an experienced worker, a regular part-time worker, or an injured employee due to a workplace accident, it is important to understand the claims process and your rights in terms of receiving medical benefits, disability benefits, and any other compensation benefits available.

If you have suffered a workplace injury our firm can help ensure you are adequately compensated. Call us today at (720) 770-5454 to schedule a free consultation with a Denver workers comp lawyer.

What is a Worker Compensation Settlement?

A workers' compensation settlement is a legal agreement between the injured worker and the employer or their insurance carrier. The settlement typically provides the injured worker with a lump sum payment or ongoing payments in exchange for releasing the employer from future liability for the injury.

The agreement details who is to pay for medical attention, physical therapy, travel expenses, and other costs associated with a job-related injury or illness of an employee. The settlement may also include additional wage compensation or supplemental income, such as weekly income benefits, to make up for lost wages due to the injury or illness.

What is Covered Under Workers Compensation?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported a rise in the number of workplace injury accident reports in cases in 2021, with a 6.3 percent increase from the previous year. In 2021, the total number of reported cases of workplace injuries was 2.2 million, compared to 2.1 million reported cases in 2020.

a man with a bandaged arm filling out a work injury report

Accordingly, in Colorado, workers' compensation laws have established a comprehensive program for injured employees and their employers, which provides medical care benefits to the injured worker and payment of medical bills, as well as weekly wage compensation for lost wages due to a job-related injury or illness. Other benefits that may be covered under workers' compensation include vocational rehabilitation, permanent disability, death benefits, and catastrophic injury.

When Does a Worker Compensation Settlement Arise?

A workers' compensation settlement may arise when an injured worker and their employer or insurance carrier are unable to resolve a workers' compensation claim through negotiations. In this case, the parties may choose to enter into a settlement agreement to resolve the dispute.

Learn More: How to File a Workers' Comp Claim in Colorado

It is important to note that a workers' compensation settlement is not always necessary, as an injured employee may be able to receive all necessary medical care and wage replacement benefits under the workers' compensation program.

In addition, some settlements may also cover additional costs associated with a work-related injury, such as lost wages due to the inability to work or weekly wage compensation for part-time workers.

How Do Workers' Comp Settlements Work in Colorado?

In Colorado, workers' compensation settlements are typically determined by several factors, including the severity of the injury or illness and an analysis of the medical evidence. The claims process typically involves the injured worker submitting a claim to their insurance carrier or employer, who will then evaluate the claim and make an offer for the settlement.

If both parties agree to the terms of the agreement, it would need approval by the Department of Labor and Employment. The injured worker and their employer or insurance carrier must submit a settlement agreement to the Board for approval. The Board will review the agreement to ensure that it is fair and reasonable and that it complies with Colorado workers' compensation laws.

Once the settlement is approved, the injured worker will receive a compensation check and any additional comp benefits included in the agreement. The amount of compensation varies based on the injury but may include doctor bills, hospital bills, and other costs associated with the injured party's medical care.

Who Administers Workers' Compensation in Colorado?

The Department of Labor and Employment administers workers' compensation in Colorado. The Board is responsible for processing workers' compensation claims, conducting hearings, and resolving disputes between injured workers and their employers or insurance carriers.

Related: What You Should Do After a Work Injury

Also, the Colorado Department of Labor oversees the state's risk management program and is responsible for ensuring that employers comply with workers' compensation laws. This means that employers must carry workers' compensation insurance, provide benefits to their employees, and follow the claims process as outlined by the State's workers' compensation policies.

What Does Workers' Comp Insurance Cover in Colorado?

In Colorado, workers' compensation insurance covers medical expenses and lost wages due to a job-related injury or illness. This includes emergency medical services, diagnostic testing, hospital stays, physical therapy, medications, and medical equipment. It also covers any additional comp treatment costs associated with the injury or illness, such as travel expenses, follow-up care, and medical attention received from medical service providers.

a blank workers comp form on a desk

Workers' compensation insurance also covers vocational rehabilitation for injured employees and supplemental income for regular part-time and experienced workers. In addition, the insurance provider may also cover additional costs such as fair compensation for death benefits and catastrophic injury if applicable.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Workers' Compensation Check?

The length of time it takes to get a workers' compensation check depends on several factors, such as the severity of the injury or illness, whether the State Board has approved the claim of Workers' Compensation, and whether there have been any disputes between the parties. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months for an injured worker to receive benefits under the workers' compensation program.

How Long Can I Receive Workers' Compensation Benefits?

The amount of time an injured worker can receive workers' compensation benefits depends on the severity of their job injury or illness and the type of additional care they require. Generally, workers may receive benefits for as long as they continue to need medical care or until the injury is healed, whichever comes first.

What Happens After a Workers' Comp Settlement?

Once the workers' compensation settlement is approved, the injured party will begin receiving their benefits and fair compensation. In some cases, they may also be required to follow a care plan or receive ongoing care from a healthcare professional. The employer may also be responsible for paying the costs of emergency medical services or the costs of health care for preexisting conditions.

In addition, the employer may be required to reimburse the injured worker for any additional costs incurred due to the injury or illness. These can include travel expenses, costs of health care, and other expenses related to their medical treatment obtained from medical providers.

Talk to a Workers' Compensation Attorney Today

If you have been injured on the job in Colorado, it is important to understand your rights and the workers' compensation process. While the process can be complex, there are resources available to help you navigate the system and receive the benefits you deserve. If you have questions or concerns about your workers' comp claim, we recommend speaking with one of our experienced workers' compensation attorneys who can guide you through the process and protect your rights.

At DCAL, we are committed to helping injured employees receive the compensation they deserve. Our experienced Denver injury lawyer can help you navigate the claims process, negotiate with insurance providers, and fight for you through legal action. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.

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