Afraid your work comp claim will hurt your employer? Fear not.
You’re a good person. You like your employer. Your injury isn’t that bad. So why should you file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer?
Many of the people that come into our law office are worried about how their workers’ compensation claim will affect their employers. We understand that, but we also want you to know: An insurance company, not your employer, will pay your claim. In other words, if you were injured at work, you can and should file for workers’ compensation.
The history of the Colorado workers’ compensation system
A hundred years ago, if workers were injured on the job, they had to sue their employers to recover compensation for their injuries. Not only that, but they had to prove that their employers acted negligently. The process was grueling, pitted employee against employer, and took a long time. Employees were left to pay for their own medical care while they battled for compensation.
In 1915, Colorado enacted its first no-fault workers’ compensation law. The Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act helped employers by reducing their direct liability and making costs more predictable. It benefited employees by allowing them to recover compensation regardless of whether their employer was negligent.
Today, Colorado employers are required to carry workers’ compensation. They no longer face liability for work injuries. Furthermore, almost any worker injured on the job is entitled to workers’ compensation from the employer’s insurer. This is true even if the employee, not the employer, caused the injury.
Who receives the bill for a workers’ compensation injury?
After an insurance company accepts your workers’ compensation claim, it will receive the bills for your medical expenses. Not your employer, and not you.
The insurance company, not your employer, will pay your wage replacement benefits directly to you.
It is safe to file a workers’ compensation claim
We hope we have made it clear that you will not harm your employer by filing a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer has no incentive to fire you or otherwise retaliate against you for bringing a claim. There is a reason your employer pays insurance, and a reason it is protected from liability for workplace injuries. Long gone are the days when injured employees had to fight employers for compensation. You have every right to file a claim, and every protection for doing so.