If you’re injured doing your job, you have every right to pursue workers compensation benefits. The process can be complex, but don’t let that stop you from seeking the care and compensation you deserve. Even if an incident seems small, start the workers’ comp claim immediately rather than waiting to see if conditions get worse. If you wait too long, you may lose the opportunity to recover the full amount you’re entitled to.
If the injury is life threatening, get emergency care right away and start the processes described below as soon as possible. The same is true if your injury happens when you are outside of your normal workplace but still on the job.
If your injury is less severe, report it to your supervisor and request medical treatment. If your employer has a designated health care provider, you will have to visit that provider for treatment. In fact, your employer has to give you the option of at least two health care providers to see.
If your employer doesn’t have a list of approved health care providers, you can see a qualified care provider of your choice. If you’re provided a list, you must use one of those primary physicians or else you could be responsible for the costs. If you’re not happy with that doctor, you have 90 days in which to file to request a see a different provider.
Be sure to write up a report about the injury or illness and submit it to your supervisor or HR department within four days of the incident. Your employer may have a form for you to use. Your report should include details on how, when, and where the accident occurred and specifics about the injury and symptoms. Keep a copy.
Next you should file a workers’ comp claim with the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation (DOWC). Your employer or the insurer may tell you that you don’t need to file—that everything is taken care of when the employer reports the incident. It’s best that you file to help ensure that your coverage will extend as long as necessary. If not, your benefits may expire after two years even if you’re still receiving care.
If you develop a work-related condition, like carpal tunnel syndrome, the process is the same. Even though it’s not possible to pinpoint an exact injury date, be sure to note the time frame that likely caused the condition.
As with most cases involving insurance companies, you may have to fight to get what you deserve. You might not be advised of all your rights and benefits, and you must meet deadlines and supply certain information. Getting a workers compensation attorney can be a smart decision so you have legal clout on as you recover from a workplace injury.
If you have a workers’ compensation claim and want to handle it correctly, then contact the workers compensation attorneys at Frickey Law Firm for a free consultation.