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Protecting the Rights of Injured Workers

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Some injuries may not be covered by workers’ compensation

In Colorado, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees when they are injured at work. Employees who file for workers’ compensation benefits are not required to prove that their employers were negligent. Since workers’ compensation is available, employees are generally prevented from filing lawsuits against their employers. While workers’ compensation covers most work-related injuries, there are certain situations in which an injury might not be covered.

When workers’ comp might not cover an injury

To qualify for workers’ compensation, an injury must have occurred within the scope and course of the employee’s job. Under the coming-and-going rule, workers who are injured while commuting to and from their jobs are generally not covered by workers’ compensation. However, if an employee is traveling to a different worksite, is sent on an errand by the employer, or has to travel as a regular part of his or her job, any injuries might be covered.

Workers’ compensation may also not be available when people are injured at work while engaging in horseplay. However, someone who is injured by others who are engaged in horseplay without engaging in it himself or herself might be covered. People who work from home should be covered for injuries that occur during their regular work hours. Intoxication may or may not be a reason for benefits to be denied.

Whether or not an injury might be covered by workers’ compensation benefits will depend on the specific facts of what happened. Workers’ compensation eligibility decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. People whose claims have been denied by their employers may want to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney about what they might do. An attorney might help an injured worker to file an appeal of the denial and represent him or her before the administrative body for the hearing.

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