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Recognizing and reporting an on-the-job illness or injury, part 1

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2014 | Workers' Compensation |

From a very early age, society encourages people who have been hurt to “tough it out.”

It’s a phenomenon that is frequently on display in the context of sports events, as players who are in pain are routinely treated by trainers and sent back into the game.

Sometimes, however, a condition is not only painful; it is also an outright injury. An injury is a condition that is not only painful, but requires medical treatment.

For Colorado workers’ compensation purposes, there is a specific guideline in the law about when missed work triggers a requirement to file a report of injury with an employer. In Colorado, this time threshold is triggered when you have not been able to do your job for more than three days.

In other words, as an injured worker, you should generally report your injury to your employer within four days of becoming aware of it. If you don’t, you could potentially lose a day of your temporary workers’ comp benefits for each day you do not report a known injury.

Keep in mind, however, that the law recognizes there may be circumstances that prevent an employee from reporting an injury right away.

For one thing, an injured worker may not realize right away just how severe an injury is. A worker who tries to “tough it out,” in the hope of getting better, is doing an entirely understandable thing.

Moreover, in some cases, the reason for not reporting an injury or making a workers’ comp claim is because of fear of retaliation by the employer. After all, the economy is still challenging, and no one wants to be fired for being a squeaky wheel.

And then there is the issue of occupational diseases and other injuries that the employee may not be immediately aware of. We will discuss those conditions in part two of this post.

To learn more about our law firm’s practice, please visit our page on reporting a work injury.


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