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Protecting the Rights of Injured Workers

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Construction injuries and workers’ comp: are contractors covered?

The construction industry is often thought of as an industry where the risk of injuries or even fatalities for workers is higher than others.

There is good reason for this perception. As we noted in our April 2 post, deaths in the construction industry occur far too frequently. In 2012 alone, there were 775 deaths in the private construction injury in the U.S.

Of course, not all who died were employees. Some were independent contractors. But as we will discuss in this post, Colorado law contains some very specific requirements on workers’ compensation coverage for contractors.

In our March 14 post, we discussed the distinction between employees and contractors for workers’ compensation purposes. We noted that the Colorado Legislature has set forth several key principles for making this distinction, such as the degree of control over the work.

In today’s post, we will add some specific considerations that are involved in the construction industry.

In general, Colorado law requires that everyone who is doing construction work on such a job site is to be covered by workers’ compensation.

To be sure, there are exceptions to this. But it is a myth to say that contractors are always excluded from the workers’ compensation insurance system, just because they are contractors.

Keep in mind, however, that even qualifying for an exemption requires submitting the proper paperwork to the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation.

If you have any uncertainty about your right to workers’ compensation, it makes sense to talk with an attorney about it. For information about our practice, please visit our page on construction injuries.

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