In part two of our ABCs of Colorado workers’ comp series, we continue our journey through the alphabet of injured workers’ rights.
N – Nothing to be ashamed of. Some people hesitate to file for workers’ comp because they feel ashamed of getting these benefits. There is nothing to be ashamed about, as workers’ comp laws and workers’ comp systems were created for the benefit of all injured workers.
O – Opinions of medical professionals. Listening to the opinion of your medical providers, such as their opinions about when you can return to work, is a vital part of the workers’ comp process.
P – Permanent effects of an injury. When a permanent injury (such as an amputation or permanent disfigurement) is involved, workers’ comp cases involve an extra layer of complexity. If faced with these life-altering situations, it is vital to have a trusted legal adviser to make sure you are treated fairly.
Q – Quick. When you’ve been hurt, you need benefits as quickly as possible to make sure your medical expenses are covered and your bills are being paid. To make sure this happens, you need to understand all of the processes and procedural requirements of the workers’ comp system.
R – Retaliation is not allowed. If you’re concerned that your employer will take action against you for filing a workers’ comp claim, know this: it is illegal for employers to fire you or retaliate against you for filing a workers’ comp claim or asking about your workers’ comp options.
S – Stop worrying. One of the main benefits of hiring a workers’ comp attorney is that you can stop worrying. The attorney will handle all of the procedural parts of the workers’ comp process for you, allowing you to gain some peace of mind and focus on your recovery.
T – Trauma. While it is possible to get workers’ comp benefits for nearly any type of work-related injury or illness, acute injuries caused by traumatic events are often the easiest to prove.
U – Understand your real rights. Since your injury, you’ve probably heard a lot of people tell you what they think you should do and what they think your rights are. Be sure you have the right information, because the opinion of a friend or coworker may be vastly different from what the law actually says.
V – Vent about the situation in a safe space. When you’ve been hurt at work, you likely need to talk about it to someone. Talking about it with a lawyer is a safe thing to do, because you’re protected by attorney-client privilege.
W – Weird regulations. There are many quirks to the workers’ comp system in Colorado, and if you run into one of these quirks and don’t adequately address it, you could accidentally harm your ability to get benefits.
X – X-rays and other medical tests. Workers’ comp is designed to cover medical expenses, including tests such as x-rays, so that you don’t have to face additional financial burden during this difficult time.
Y – Your health. Your health is the most important thing you can focus on after an injury. An attorney can help you navigate the complex workers comp system and all the details of filing a claim, allowing you to put all your energy into making as full of a recovery as possible.
Z – Zero. The amount of compassion or empathy that the system and your employer will show you is almost none – zero. You need to be your own advocate, and to get help from someone who will protect your interests.
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