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Colorado Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Workers' compensation death benefits in Colorado

Workers' compensation benefits can provide financial assistance when an employee is injured and may also be needed by an employee's surviving family when a person loses their life from a work related accident. A family may rely on the income of a loved one and suffer if that person is killed while on the job. Some people may look to professional help when attempting to collect workers' compensation benefits on behalf of a deceased loved one. A middle aged woman recently lost her life at a Colorado work site when she was crushed between two rail cars.

The victim and other employees of the local construction company were responsible for the operation and movement of flatbed railroad cars in connection with the operation of their place of employment. The cars carried materials created and used by the framing company that were either being loaded or unloaded from the business. The afternoon accident took place while the woman and coworkers completed their work duties.

Colorado trucker may have had death benefits

When a person loses their life as a result of a work accident, their family may be entitled to death benefits through workers' compensation. Death benefits can often be used to cover funeral costs and loss of income incurred from the tragic loss of a loved one. An older truck driver in Colorado recently lost his life in an accident that caused his fully loaded truck to tilt and fall on its side.

The workplace accident took place when a large truck attempted to make an afternoon concrete delivery at an industrial site. The truck was in the process of unloading and transferring the heavy rocks when the vehicle became unbalanced. Authorities found the large materials truck lying on its side when they arrived with paramedics. 

Colorado oil industry and workman's comp

The oil and gas industry is a leader in hazardous work environments and may have many employees that require workman's comp after an accident. Workman's comp may be used to cover medical costs, disability reimbursement or funeral expenses -- in the event of a fatal injury. Colorado has seen multiple injuries and fatalities occur among employees within the oil and gas industry over the years.  

Reports indicate that many oil and gas companies in Colorado hire entry level personnel that have a relatively small amount of experience. Some oil and gas work sites in other states have been accused of maintaining workers that are minimally experienced and may not receive routine inspections. An occupational safety consultant that is seasoned with many companies based off of the Bakken shale believes that safety hazards can exist without proper training.

Loved ones of crushed worker may need death benefits

Many young Colorado women and men work hard to support their family and build a secure financial future for those they love. When they are injured or killed at work, their family may face a loss of income and unexpected expenses that death benefits may be able to help with. A person that believes they are in need of death benefits after losing a loved one in a workplace accident may have questions about the process. A young man employed at a steel facility recently lost his life when a large tank fell on him, leaving behind a bright future and young family.

The athletic man worked as a subcontractor for the steel plate manufacturing company and was completing maintenance on a large tank when the tragic afternoon accident took place. The victim was in the process of sandblasting the large piece of equipment when it moved and quickly slid. He was crushed by the 12,000 pound tank that dislodged.

Ways some employers may avoid paying for workers' compensation

Workers' compensation is a benefit that is covered by an employers' insurance. It is the right of employees here in Colorado, and all across the nation, to file for workers' compensation when they are injured while doing their job. However, just because their insurance should cover the costs, some unscrupulous employers still attempt to avoid using it. There are many ways that employees can protect themselves. The following are a few tips that may help them do just that.

The most obvious way that an employer will avoid using workman's comp is by forcing an employee to return to work. They may say that the employee will not have to perform his or her regular duties, but the work could still exacerbate the injury. Similarly, they may offer to pay the employee's regular wages, which are more than they would receive through workers' compensation, but the employee will not be eligible for coverage of future medial treatment, nor protect the employee from termination. The worker may be threatened with firing or delay the entire process until the employee gives up the process. A dishonest employer may request that an employee use his or her own health insurance to cover the medial costs of the injury, but this will prevent the employee from filing for workman's comp in the future. 

Medical benefits are part of injured Colorado workers' rights

When an employee is injured on the job, he or she may have need of medical treatment. It may be difficult for the employee to manage this treatment for many reasons that involve the employer, the employer's insurance company and even the medical professionals charged with the employee's care. At The Eley Law Firm in Denver, we strive to help Colorado employees understand the provisions of medical benefits and how it ties in to injured workers' rights.

When a worker is injured, he or she is frequently assigned an authorized treating physician (ATP) who oversees the worker's care. This person is frequently appointed by the employer or the employer's insurance carrier. Due to this fact, the ATP might have a previously established relationship with either of those entities, which could result in the ATP siding with the employer or insurance company over the employee. The ATP may make decisions about the worker's care that are not necessarily in his or her best interest, but rather to the benefit of the entity that designated the ATP. The doctor could decide that the employee is ready for work or does not have any impairment when that is not the case.

Avalanche at Colorado ski resort could result in death benefits

Here in Colorado, people come from all over the world to vacation at ski resorts. The employees who work there likely do so because they enjoy the outdoors and the non-traditional work environment. However, like any workplace, there are still safety precautions that must be taken. In the past, we have discussed the prevalence of avalanches at several Colorado ski resorts. A recent avalanche that took the life of one worker at the Wolf Creek Ski area could necessitate the filing for death benefits by the worker's family.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the ski area was training employees in avalanche safety. Patrollers were flown into an area about 15 miles away from the main resort. It is not known precisely what happened, but an avalanche took the life of a ski patrol member during the training exercise. OSHA has cited Wolf Creek with $14,000 worth of violations. OSHA reps say that the patrolmen were not provided with a way to contact base operations or first responders in an emergency.

Colorado avalanche victim's family may receive death benefits

Many people may consider the job of a ski patrol member as exciting even though it likely poses multiple on-the-job injury hazards. In addition to having to be an excellent skier, patrol members have to cope with the unpredictability of nature on a daily basis. After a tragic accident at a ski resort in Southwestern Colorado on March 4, the owners of the resort have been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Moreover, death benefits are likely due the family of the worker killed in the fatal ski accident. 

On March 4, a helicopter took a team of patrollers for avalanche training to an area that was approximately 15 miles away from the ski resort. They were overwhelmed by an avalanche, and one patrol member died in the incident. OSHA investigations determined that the resort owners disregarded safety regulations by sending the workers into the area without proper evaluation of the potential avalanche risks.

Colorado workers' rights to workman's comp valid after a job loss

When a worker is injured on the job, he or she may decide to file for workers' compensation to cover the lost wages, medical bills and any other expenses incurred due to the injury. Sometimes, an employee may lose his or her job or be fired while recovering from injury. The worker may fear losing the money from the compensation claim, but workers' rights entail that they can still receive those benefits until they have recovered. At the Eley Law Firm in Denver, our team has handled numerous Colorado clients in this type of dilemma and understand what their rights are and their full range of options.

Workers may not realize that their employer may not hold their position for them while they recuperate from their injury, nor is the employer required to do so. There are some workers who can receive up to 12 weeks of leave, unpaid, and be able to return to their job, as is outlined under the Family and Medical Leave Act. However, some employers will compel their employees to utilize any paid leave they have as part of medical leave. Those who have trouble understanding these types of provisions may need assistance from an experienced work injury law firm.

Death benefits provide financial aid after fatal work accident

While industrial workers in Colorado likely recognize the potential dangers of their chosen profession, their families may be concerned about the safety of their loved ones whenever they are at work. Many industrial workers are the sole breadwinners for their families, and a workplace accident may lead to the loss of income. Although workers' compensation benefits may provide financial aid, families may be unsure of the availability of death benefits, and how to go about filing a claim.

The owners of industrial companies are expected to provide safe workplace surroundings and proper safety training to all their workers. When safety regulations are disregarded, workplace accidents may result in severe injuries, or even death. A worker at a scrap yard in Denver recently lost his life in a tragic workplace accident.

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