What Colorado Worker’s Compensation Insurance Covers and What It Doesn’t Cover

Having a safe workplace is one of the most effective ways to reduce financial and human costs associated with workplace injuries and increase productivity. Workplace injuries are common in many different kinds of business, but due to lack of sufficient information and employees not understanding their rights, they often go uncompensated. Some of the common workplace injuries include burns, lacerations, overexertion, falls, slips, or trips. 

By law, all businesses in Colorado are expected to pay for workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage provides medical treatment and lost wage benefits to employees who are injured on the job.

Does Colorado Workers’ Compensation Cover All Injuries?

There are different types of workplace injuries that are covered under Colorado workers’ compensation laws. However, keep in mind that not all injuries that occur in the workplace are covered under workers’ compensation. 

Work-related injuries can vary widely and may include physical trauma, mental injuries, trauma caused by occupational diseases, or repetitive motion injuries. Here are some of the common injuries covered under workers’ comp:

  • General anxiety disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Strokes
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Torn meniscus
  • Torn rotator cuffs
  • Cancer
  • Exposure to asbestos
  • Head injuries
  • Hernias
  • Bulging discs

Injuries NOT Covered by Colorado Workers’ Comp Insurance

There are several types of workplace injury that are not covered under the Colorado Workers’ Comp. These injuries include:

  • Workers who injure themselves knowingly.
  • An injury that occurs when the employee is not executing their role
  • An injury caused by an act of God.
  • Injuries retained during a social or athletic event not associated with their work duties

According to the law, employees who get injured on the job while intoxicated are liable to penalties and can lose some of their benefits. However, they can still get some of the benefits covered under workers’ compensation. 

Colorado state laws mandate employers to reimburse their injured employees for medical expenses considered reasonable. To protect yourself and prevent any issues, it’s advisable to report any injuries to the employer immediately they occur. Employees can lose their benefits if they don’t report this within the recommended time frame. 

Types of Colorado Workers’ Compensation Benefits

According to Colorado law, workers’ comp coverage should include medical care expenses such as hospital stays, doctors’ visits, medical supplies, physical therapy and x-rays. 

There are also different types of benefits and different durations depending on the severity of the injury:

  • Temporary disability benefits: Employees are entitled to wage loss benefits if they are not working or earning less due to their injuries.
  • Permanent partial disability: A PPD compensation is remitted to employees when they resume work in some capacity, albeit with some lasting effects.
  • Permanent total disability: These benefits are equated to two-thirds of the injured worker’s wages at the time of injury. These funds are issued to an employee after suffering severe injuries that make it difficult to work in any capacity.
  • Death benefits: According to the law, the amount paid to the surviving family members equals two-thirds of the deceased employee’s weekly wages. However, these funds can be reduced based on the relationship between the deceased and the surviving dependent. The children receive wages until adulthood, while the spouse receives benefits till they remarry or pass away.

If you’ve been injured on the job and your workers’ compensation claims have been denied, or you just aren’t sure what to do to get the benefits you’re entitled to, a workers’ compensation attorney can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.