Understanding what can — and should — happen after a work injury – II
In a previous post, we started discussing how in the immediate aftermath of a work-related accident, it can be less than clear to injured workers how exactly they should proceed if they know they will be unable to return to their duties in the near future.
To that end, we began discussing how the law in Colorado requires employees to notify their employer in writing of any and all work-related injuries within four days of the incident. In today’s post, we’ll continue this important discussion.
The good news for injured workers is that once this step is taken, the matter is technically out of their hands. That’s because state law dictates that employers must file an injury report with their insurance carrier within ten days of the work injury, an action that essentially initiates the work comp claim process.
In the event an employer fails to report the injury to the insurance carrier, injured workers should know that they can file a claim directly with the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation to protect their future rights. Indeed, once this happens, the clock begins to run for the insurance carrier.
Specifically, if the work injury causes a worker to miss more than three shifts or three workdays, the insurance carrier has exactly 20 days from the date on which the claim is filed with the Division to communicate a decision.
If the insurance carrier determines that the injured worker is entitled to work comp benefits, its decision will be referred to as an Admission of Liability and, if it denies work comp benefits, its decision will be referred to as a Notice of Contest.
We’ll explore the significance of these decisions, as well as the next steps in the process in a future post.
If you have questions or concerns relating to the work comp process or the denial of much-needed benefits, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.