Colorado Springs Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Fighting for Injured Workers in Parker & Pueblo
Despite government safety regulations, workers in America are injured on the job every day. If this has happened to you, you are most likely entitled to claim disability and medical benefits through workers' compensation. Workers' comp is a no-fault insurance system, which means you do not have to prove that your employer was responsible for causing your injury or for allowing it to happen. Provided that you did not cause the accident through willful negligence, you should be eligible to recover benefits, such as for medical treatment and the replacement of a certain amount of the wages lost through injury.
Unfortunately, many people are paid less than they deserve or even have their claims denied outright. You can greatly improve your chances of success in this situation by hiring a Clawson & Clawson, LLP attorney to represent you in your claim. Our firm is backed by 100+ years of collective experience, along with national recognition by leading legal industry organizations. We are ready to work for you in pursuing the compensation benefits you need and deserve.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The benefits available through workers' comp are intended to offset the significant economic impact of an injury on the job, including your costs for medical care and the wages you lose during your recovery or due to disability. The disability benefits are limited to only two-thirds of your normal wages, so it is important to ensure that your claim is approved for the full amount possible.
Nearly all businesses that have one or more employees are required by law to carry workers' compensation insurance. This is to ensure that an employee who is injured on the job will not be required to shoulder the significant economic burden of the accident. Since workers' compensation is a no-fault system, it is not necessary to prove that your employer or anyone else was at fault for causing the accident.
Workers' compensation pays medical benefits for any and all treatment that you will require to achieve "maximum medical improvement," the stage at which your injury or illness is not expected to heal any further with continued treatment.
In addition to medical care, you can also receive various types of disability benefits according to the severity and permanence of your injury. These benefits may include:
- Temporary partial disability: This type of benefit is for people whose injuries prevent them from performing their normal job duties, but which do not force them out of work entirely. If you have been able to return to work but are receiving a reduced wage as a result of a partial disability, you can receive compensation for the amount of income you are losing on a weekly basis. Temporary partial disability benefits are calculated as two-thirds of the difference between your average weekly wage and the amount you are currently receiving. Benefits are paid until you achieve the maximum medical improvement.
- Temporary total disability: If your injury has made it impossible for you to work in any capacity but you are expected to recover at some point and be able to return to work, then you can claim temporary total disability benefits. This type of benefit pays at a rate of two-thirds of your average weekly wages and continues until you have reached maximum medical improvement.
- Permanent partial disability: While some workplace injuries will fully heal, many can leave the accident victim with some type of permanent disability. If your injury has resulted in a permanent impairment that will forever reduce your earning power, you can offset the lost income by claiming permanent partial disability benefits. The amount you can receive is calculated based on an impairment rating, which is a system of assigning a percentage of disability to your injury. The maximum available is currently $198,000 if your impairment is rated above 25%. You may be paid in a lump sum or on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
- Permanent total disability: In the event that you have sustained an injury or illness that renders you entirely incapable of performing any type of work, you can file a claim for permanent total disability. This type of benefit is paid on a weekly basis and is calculated at a rate of two-thirds of your average weekly wage. Permanent total disability benefits can continue for the rest of your life with no maximum amount.
A Colorado Springs workers' compensation attorney from Clawson & Clawson, LLP can help you take the necessary actions to recover the maximum amount available to you. Given that workers' comp benefits are limited in nature, it is highly advisable to have an experienced attorney on your side to ensure that you are not approved for anything less than what you deserve or denied benefits. We can additionally review your case for third-party liability to determine whether you may have grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death claim, which could provide you with additional compensation for your losses.
Types of Accidents & Injuries Leading to Workers’ Compensation Claims
The U.S. Department of Labor reported 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2020. The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment reports that 112 work-related deaths occur on average annually in the state — this translates to a fatality every three to four days. The leading cause of death on the job is highway accidents, while the next most common causes are self-inflicted injuries, being struck by an object or equipment, and falls from heights. The construction industry is particularly dangerous for workers, due to their high-risk environments.
Workplace injuries can include:
- Being struck by an object
- Being caught in or between objects or machinery
- Slip and fall accidents
- Traffic collisions
- Toxic exposure
- Repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and back injuries
While certain types of accidents may be more common than others, you can file a claim for nearly any accident or illness suffered while on the job.
We can evaluate your case to determine whether your injury qualifies you for temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, or permanent total disability benefits, and we will be ready to take immediate action on your claim.
Filing Your Workers’ Comp Claim
If you have been injured on the job, it is important to speak with a workers' compensation attorney at Clawson & Clawson, LLP as soon as possible. This can be a highly stressful situation, and the last thing you need is to face the struggle of navigating the complexities of Colorado workers' compensation law. With our help, you can maximize the value of your claim and reduce the chance that you will be subjected to unnecessary delays, or even a denial of benefits.
First Step in the Claim Process
Within four days of a workplace accident, you must provide your employer with written notice of your injury and your proposed claim for workers' compensation. In the event that you have developed an occupational disease as a result of toxic exposure or a repetitive stress injury, you must submit your notice within 30 days of the first distinct manifestation of the condition.
As soon as this is done, your employer is required to refer you to an authorized medical care provider so you can begin receiving the treatment you need to make a full and swift recovery. Don't worry that you will be fired for filing a workers' compensation claim — it is your right to claim benefits. In fact, your employer can incur harsh penalties for retaliating against you for filing a claim.
Guiding You Throughout the Process
Our attorneys can assist you with every aspect of your claim. This includes gathering the necessary documentation and medical records to prove the severity and scope of your injury, as well as negotiating with the insurance company over the value of the benefits you are due. We can even help you file an appeal in the event that your claim is wrongfully denied.
Why Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
At every stage of the process, from preparing your claim to following up with the insurance company to navigating the complexities of filing an appeal, you are fully entitled to represent yourself. But the question is: Why would you want to? Haven't you already been through enough stress without putting yourself through the ordeal of fighting with the insurance company over whether or not you have a valid claim, sifting through the numerous statues of Colorado workers' compensation law, and possibly finding out that your claim has been wrongfully denied?
At Clawson & Clawson, LLP, we make it our job to do everything we can to spare you the stress and strain involved in filing a workers' compensation claim. Our attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience and an extensive understanding of the process. When you hire us, you can have the confidence that your claim is in good hands. Our lawyers have won numerous awards, underscoring the legal excellence to which we are committed.
Workers’ Compensation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Am I eligible for workers’ compensation benefits?
The majority of employers in Colorado are required by state law to carry workers' compensation benefits, so if you have been injured on the job, it is very likely that you are eligible to file a claim for benefits. Workers' compensation serves the purpose of relieving the injured employee of the significant economic burden of obtaining medical treatment.
Do I have to prove that my employer caused the accident?
No. This is one of the factors that sets a workplace accident apart from a car accident or any other type of accident: Workers' compensation is a no-fault type of insurance. It is not necessary to demonstrate that your employer is at fault for causing the accident. You can file a claim for workers' comp under nearly any circumstances, providing only that you did not cause the accident through your own willful negligence.
How much medical treatment can I receive?
You can receive compensation for any type of treatment you may need to achieve maximum medical improvement. This is the legally and medically defined level at which your injury or illness is not expected to improve any further, even with continued medical treatment. Any type of treatment that is reasonable and necessary may be covered, including emergency care and hospitalization, surgery, diagnostic tests, medication, rehabilitative care, and equipment to accommodate a disability.
How much can I receive in disability benefits?
Four different types of disability benefits are available, depending on the scope and severity of your injury or illness:
- Temporary partial disability
- Temporary total disability
- Permanent partial disability
- Permanent total disability
With the exception of permanent partial disability, these benefits are calculated at a rate of two-thirds of the amount of income that you are losing as a result of your injury, whether you are receiving reduced wages or have been forced out of work entirely. Permanent partial disability benefits, on the other hand, are calculated according to your impairment rating, which is a percentage of disability assigned to your injury.
Do I have to hire an attorney?
The short answer is, "No, but you should." Why? Due to the fact that workers' compensation law is a complex subject, it can be highly challenging to successfully navigate the system without a lawyer. For example, many workers' compensation denials are based on simple mistakes or omissions in preparing the claim. Others can be attributed to the fact that the insurance company is a for-profit business and will do everything they can to minimize or deny a claim whenever possible.
By hiring an attorney from Clawson & Clawson, LLP, you can greatly improve your chances of achieving a successful outcome. our attorneys have extensive familiarity with the claims process. Let us fight for your right to receive the benefits you need and deserve.
Contact us to discuss the circumstances of your case with one of our Colorado Springs workers’ compensation attorneys.