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How soon must workers' compensation claims be filed in Colorado?

Every injury or illness is different. In some cases, the extent of an injury may become very rapidly. On the other hand, certain medical conditions may develop over a longer period of time, which can cause a delay in treatment.

In the context of a workplace injury or illness, timing is a key factor. According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, employees must report an on-the-job injury within four working days of it occurring. If the injury becomes apparent immediately after an accident, then reporting within this timeframe may be relatively straightforward. On the other hand, if an incident occurs and it takes some time for symptoms to appear, employees may find themselves in a bind.

The unfortunate reality is that injured employees may face penalties for reporting an injury after the four-day period. If the medical issue isn't reported within the specified window, workers' compensation benefits may be reduced. To be clear, an employee can still successfully file for injury-related coverage, but benefits may be cut for every day that an injury report is delayed.

Receiving a fair and accurate amount of compensation is important for someone who has suffered a serious injury. After all, dealing with these health issues can take a serious financial toll on a worker and his or her family. As such, it may be necessary to seek effective representation when there is a dispute about when and how benefits are administered.

If someone does not meet the four-day requirement for reporting at no fault of their own, then it may create an issue worth pursuing. After all, every worker's unique needs and circumstances should be addressed.

Source: The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed July 21, 2014

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