Colorado workers’ comp insurance law enacted 100 years ago

Jun 11 2015

It was April 10, 1915, when Colorado enacted its very first workers’ compensation insurance law. The state legislature was in a generous mood that day, appropriating $23,000 to help injured workers get paid while they recovered.

The State Compensation Insurance Fund was created that day; it later evolved into Pinnacol Assurance, the quasi-governmental insurer that serves more than half the businesses in the state. Gov. John Hickenlooper joined Pinnacol executives to mark the anniversary, noting that Colorado has the 11th-lowest workers’ comp insurance rate in the nation.


That low insurance rate obviously helps businesses keep more profits in their pockets. But low rates are also a reflection of the vigor with which insurers will attempt to deny workers’ compensation claims. The more claims denied, the more money is saved and the lower insurance rates can be.

On the other side of that equation are the injured workers, of course, who depend on those benefits to pay for the medical care their injuries need and to help replace a portion of their wages while they cannot work. On that same side are the attorneys who help injured workers fight for those benefits that are paid for out of every paycheck you earn.

Workers’ compensation attorneys understand applicable laws and procedures in ways that a layperson — without training and experience — simply cannot. Even the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment cautions workers in complex disputes with insurers over compensation should consider enlisting the “the technical expertise provided by an individual who is well-versed in Colorado workers’ compensation law.”

The department offers a very good reason why you should seriously consider the advantages of having an attorney at your side: “at a hearing, you will be held to the same standard as an attorney practicing workers’ compensation law…” Not only that, but when you settle your case, it is final. There are no do-overs if you discover afterwards that your medical bills are going to be significantly higher or that you will be out of work for many months rather than a few weeks.

Please choose carefully. Not every workers’ comp case requires an attorney’s attention. But for those that do, it’s important to you, your health and your family to choose well. Please see our Denied Workers’ Compensation Claims page to learn more about how the experienced attorneys at Alverson + O’Brien can help you.