Workers’ compensation benefits form a key protective tool in state labor laws. With few exceptions, most businesses with at least one employee must obtain a workers’ comp insurance policy. These policies should apply to all employees regardless of their seniority or job status.
The purpose of these benefits is to provide economic stability in case of a workplace injury. Unfortunately, some insurance companies put profits first and may deny valid claims in an effort to save money. As a result, you may find that your claim results in a reduced compensation package or a denial.
A Colorado Springs workers’ compensation lawyer could help you pursue the benefits you deserve after a workplace injury, including proper medical care, temporary disability benefits, and payments for any permanent loss of ability to work. A skilled personal injury attorney could handle the complexity of the workers’ comp process so you can focus on your recovery.
The exact definition of a work-related injury is essential to claims for benefits as a lack of workplace connection can be a common cause of denial from an insurance company. According to Colorado Revised Statute §8-41-301, an injury may be subject to benefits when:
A workplace injury may be physical or mental. Therefore, many valid claims can involve stress related to mental trauma. Because of these regulations, if an employee is injured while on their way to or from work, during a lunch break, or because of their disregard for safety they may not qualify for any compensation. A Colorado Springs workers’ compensation attorney could help determine whether an employee’s injuries meet the requirements for a valid claim.
Insurance companies may find any possible excuse to deny a claim. These excuses may include a lack of information concerning the injury, an unclear connection to an applicant’s occupational duties, or believing that the injury is not sufficiently serious to require payment. No matter why an insurance company denies a claim, an employee has the right to appeal their decision if they believe their claim was unfairly denied.
The appellate process begins when the employee files an application for a hearing with the Office of Administrative Courts. This application initiates a court case where both the injured employee and the insurance company can present their arguments before an administrative judge. During this process, the office may offer mediation sessions where the parties can exchange information and attempt to settle their case before the claim reaches a judge.
If the judge’s hearing does not result in a favorable outcome, either party can then appeal the case to the Industrial Claim Appeals Panel. During this proceeding, both sides can submit briefs to the court, but there is no in-person hearing.
A workers’ comp lawyer in Colorado Springs could help an injured employee work through the appeal process. From filing the initial request for a hearing, to participating in mediation sessions, to appearing in person to argue a claim before an administrative judge, an attorney could help set things right.
If you suffered injuries in a workplace accident, you may have the right to claim workers’ compensation. These benefits can provide medical care, temporary income assistance, and lump-sum payments for permanent disabilities. However, obtaining these payments can be difficult without help from a Colorado Springs workers’ compensation lawyer. Contact an attorney today for an initial case consultation.