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Workers’ Compensation Requirements, Benefits, and Settlements

 

Workers’ compensation is a much-relied-upon insurance that employers in Colorado must-have. This insurance provides financial resources to an employee who has been injured at work, ill due to the workplace environment or even killed while performing work-related duties.

While the workers’ compensation act is designed to create less financial burden for both the employee and the employer, navigating the process can prove difficult. Utilizing the experience of a knowledgeable and thoughtful workers’ comp lawyer can benefit an injured employee dramatically.

The legal team of Hull & Zimmerman works with various clients who have endured the stress of a workplace injury. Providing our insight helps them to better understand the process, and we’d like to extend that knowledge to you with details on workers’ comp requirements, benefits, and settlements.

 

Workers’ Compensation Requirements

For the Employer

It is compulsory for Colorado employers to hold workers’ comp insurance if they have one or more employees; even if the employees are only part-time workers, this is a requirement. However, not all businesses that hire people for work are considered employers in the technical sense.

Types of businesses that are not required to have workman’s compensation insurance include:

  • Sole proprietors
  • General working partners
  • Freelance workers
  • Independent contractors
  • Corporate officers
  • Limited liability companies (LLC)

Before starting a new job, it’s wise to find out if the company that hires you has workers’ compensation so you can determine whether it’s a smart move for you.

For the Employee

If you are hurt or become ill due to working conditions, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits consist of different kinds of compensation, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Death benefit
  • Disability benefits

To receive these benefits, fault does not need to be determined. The injured party could have caused the accident but will still be entitled to the benefits provided they meet other requirements, including:

  • The injured or ill party must be an employee
  • The employer must have workers’ compensation insurance
  • The injury or illness must be work-related (even pre-existing conditions can be covered should the condition be exasperated due to the working conditions or the job)
  • All state deadlines regarding reporting and filing the claim are met

Some kinds of workers have specific rules, such as:

  • Domestic workers or caregivers
  • Farm and agricultural workers
  • Season workers
  • Workers placed by a temp-agency

Because the nature of workman’s comp is fluid, we recommend working with a workers’ compensation attorney who knows the logistics of the system. Getting you fully compensated is our goal; let Hull & Zimmerman fight for your rights.

 

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Getting injured on the job is a stress-inducing experience for many of our clients. Worry about your employer’s reaction or dissatisfaction, worry about making money while unable to work, worry about having a job to come back to are all legitimate feelings. We’d like to help you conquer those feelings and get you the fair amount of compensation you’re entitled to.

The process of receiving your just due is sometimes challenging, which is why having a legal expert on your side can derail stress and get great results. If eligible, you will start receiving your benefits within one week; however, usually within the first three days.

There are several types of benefits you may be entitled to.

 

Medical benefits

This is compensation for your medical treatment, including transportation to and from all appointments. No deductible or co-pay needs to be paid. You will be compensated for:

  • Surgeries
  • Doctor’s and specialist’s visits
  • Medications
  • Psychiatric treatment or counseling
  • Alternative medicine may be covered in some cases (acupuncture, reflexology, chiropractor, etc.)
  • Special medical equipment needed
  • Travel related to medical care
  • Rehabilitation (should you be unable to perform your current work tasks, you may be able to receive vocation training for a new position, as well)

Temporary total disability

Temporary total disability is received when the employee cannot return to work for a specific amount of time. The benefits will be paid until you are able to return to work, receiving two-thirds of your weekly wage (with a maximum of $1,022.56 per week).

Temporary partial disability

If you can return to work at a lower capacity and take on restricted duties but are unable to complete your usual tasks, you may receive less income than usual. This will entitle you to temporary partial disability benefits to make up the difference in pay (also with a maximum of $1,022.56 per week).

Permanent total disability

If you are unable to return to work performing any tasks due to your work-related injury or illness, you may be eligible to receive permanent total disability payments for life.

Permanent partial disability

There are three kinds of permanent partial disability categories:

  • Scheduled loss or impairment- When you lose a body part or the function of a body part, you can receive benefits for an allotted amount of time. Each body part is listed and has a set amount of time to receive benefits. Examples are loss of an arm, carpal tunnel, and hearing loss.
  • Disfigurement and scarring- When suffering from severe facial or body scarring or disfigurement, these benefits will pay for treatment.
  • Whole person impairment- After a doctor confirms you have reached MMI (maximum medical improvement), the doctor will give you an impairment rating that dictates the level of your impairment as it relates to your entire body; the rating is used to determine your benefits. Examples are spinal cord injuries, organ damage, and brain damage.

Death benefits

When an employee is involved in a fatal accident, their dependents are eligible to receive compensation for funeral costs, burial costs, and the lost income the deceased can no longer provide (up to two-thirds of the weekly wage).

All of these benefits come with factors that are well known to skilled workman’s comp lawyers. Our legal professionals understand the complexity of these matters and are here to ensure you get the compensation you’re entitled to receive.

 

Workers’ Compensation Settlements

Settlements are determined by considering several factors, such as medical costs, lost wages, ongoing care or treatment, disfigurement, death, and more. With so many variables, there’s never a solid answer to how much an injured party can receive in a settlement. However, there are great ways to help ensure you win your case.

Winning your workers’ comp case

Below are the workers’ compensation benefits that may apply to your specific case:

  • Temporary total disability- if you suffer from temporary and total disability, making it impossible for you to work altogether during your recovery time
  • Temporary partial disability- if you suffer from a temporary disability, but are able to work on a more restrictive schedule with restrictive or minimized duties, which may affect your income
  • Permanent total disability- if you suffer from permanent and total disability, making it impossible for you to work again due to no chance of improvement
  • Permanent partial disability- if you continue to suffer from a permanent disability after your recovery time (the most common benefit)

Even if you have a legitimate claim and do everything on time and correctly, you could lose your case. If your case is denied, file an appeal. Having an attorney guide you through this process makes for a better result and will alleviate some of your anxiety.

Note that if you win your case on your own and are given a settlement, we recommend having a legal representative review the settlement prior to your signing. The wording is important to ensure you get a fair deal. You must also know whether signing means your case is closed forever or if you can reopen it for future medical costs, and whether it accurately covers all money, including the advances you’ve already received.

These details should not go overcooked. We’d like to help you so you can feel confident that you get just compensation. Contact one of our workers’ comp attorneys to learn more about your options. We fight hard for employees and get results that matter.

Premier Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

After you’ve experienced a workplace injury, you don’t have to handle the filing of your workers’ compensation claim alone.  Not only does the filing of these claims take a lot of time, but they can also get complicated.

A skilled workers’ compensation attorney will provide you with all of your options and be able to give you reliable insights on what you can expect.

Our workers’ compensation attorneys at Hull & Zimmerman are experienced in the successful management of your workers’ compensation claim and we are dedicated to getting you the compensation for your injuries, medical treatment, loss of wages, and loss of quality of life warrant.

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Located in beautiful Northglenn Colorado, we proudly serve the North Denver communities of Arvada, Broomfield, Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Lafayette, Superior, Louisville, Brighton, Commerce City and beyond. To learn more, or to discuss your situation in greater detail, contact us today by calling (303) 423-1770 for a free initial consultation.

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At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., we are honored to help accident victims in their time of need, and take our responsibility as personal injury lawyers incredibly seriously. We know how important it is for victims to secure the full and fair compensation they need following a serious accident, and that is why we take a hands-on, personalized approach to every case we handle.

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