Understanding what can — and should — happen after a work injury

Jul 01 2016

As we’ve made abundantly clear on our blog, it’s imperative for no one, no matter what job sector they work in or type of work they perform, to believe that they are somehow immune from workplace accidents and injuries. Indeed, just as easily as a warehouse worker can injure their back moving a pallet, so too can an office worker relocating a box of printer paper.

All of this naturally raises the question as to what workers can — and should do — in the event the unthinkable happens, such that they find themselves having suffered a serious or possibly even life-threatening work-related injury.

According to the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation, if a worker suffers an injury that either threatens serious damage to a part of their body or their life, they must seek emergency medical care as soon as possible, not worrying about notifying their employer until later. However, it also indicates that if they’ve suffered any other type of injury, they should make an effort to inform either their employer or supervisor prior to seeking medical care.

When it comes to the issue of notification, it must be noted that state law does require all injured workers — no matter the severity of the work-related trauma — to notify their employer in writing within four days of the injury.

If an employer has posted a sign somewhere on the premises indicating that written notice is required within four days of a work injury and the injured worker fails to provide this notice within this applicable timeframe, he or she can be penalized and forfeit as much as one day of compensation for every day that passes without taking the necessary action.

As shocking as this may seem, it’s important to note that a claim for workers’ compensation benefits can still be filed despite any late reporting.

We’ll continue discussing what can — and should — happen when a worker suffers an injury in future posts.

In the meantime, if you or a loved one have found yourself in this situation and have questions about your rights and options as they relate to work comp benefits, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional.