Some employees hesitate to file for workers’ compensation benefits after an injury on the job. They may fear they will not receive benefits if their actions contributed to the incident.
In fact, workers’ compensation in Colorado is a no-fault system. That means that even if safety violations or other actions on the part of the worker caused the injury, he or she can still collect workers’ compensation.
Seeking medical care
Employees should seek immediate medical assistance after a workplace injury. They can visit the closest hospital in an emergency. In a non-emergency situation, they must choose from the employer’s list of approved workers’ compensation providers. Otherwise, workers’ compensation will not pay for the unapproved expenses.
Providing employer notification
Workers have four days to give their employer official notification of a work-related injury. After doing so, they must file form WC 15 with the state within two years to claim workers’ compensation benefits.
Depending on the extent of the work injury, Colorado employees may be eligible for coverage for medical expenses related to the injury, lost wages, and temporary or permanent disability. The state calculates disability payments at two-thirds the worker’s average weekly wage in the year prior to the injury.
Colorado workers’ compensation benefits are available to injured workers regardless of fault. The program covers most employees in the state with limited exceptions. Even if a company fails to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, an injured employee can potentially qualify for state benefits. Workers who receive a denial of benefits can appeal their case through the state Division of Workers Compensation.