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Contested Colorado work comp claims, part 1: notice of contest

One of our themes in this blog is that in order to obtain workers' compensation benefits, you have to follow the prescribed process.

To be sure, at the most basic level, the starting point for eligibility is pretty straightforward. The injury or illness must be job-related, and you must report it to your employer within the specified time.

We discussed specific reporting requirements that apply in Colorado in our March 4 post.

In this post, we will take note of a different aspect of the workers' comp process. We will introduce you to the term "notice of contest," and tell you what that means in the context of a claim.

A notice of contest is a formal statement from a worker's compensation insurance company denying that it is responsible for paying out on your claim.

In the notice of contest statement, the company gives reasons for the denial.

Sometimes the reason given is that the claim requires further investigation. If that is the reason given, it may be in order to interact with the insurance adjuster who is assigned to your claim and find out what additional information is needed so that the adjuster's review of your claim can be completed.

As we noted in our May 5 post, it is important to be aware of the adjuster's role. After all, the adjuster does not really have a vested interest in assisting you. Instead, the adjuster's job is generally to minimize the insurance company's payouts.

A knowledgeable workers' compensation lawyer can help you gather information that may be missing to complete your claim. We will discuss the role of attorneys further in part two of this post.

Source: Colorado Division of Workers' Compensation, "What is a notice of contest?," Accessed June 9, 2014

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