How Long Do I Have to File a Denver Workers’ Comp Claim?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance policy carried out by employers to protect employees if they sustain injuries while on the job. This safety net offers numerous benefits, including medical treatment costs, lost wages due to time off work, and disability benefits if the injury has long-term or permanent effects.
While these benefits can provide significant financial relief, obtaining them is not automatic. In Colorado, the workers’ compensation process is governed by strict timelines and procedural rules. To qualify for these benefits, employees must meet specific deadlines.
You Have 10 Days to Notify Your Employer
Initiating a workers’ compensation claim in Denver starts by informing your employer about the injury. You should do this within 10 working days from when the incident happened. The notification should be in writing, providing a clear record of the injury and when it was reported.
If for any reason you couldn’t inform your employer within this time frame, it’s advisable to still notify them in writing as soon as you can. The sooner this is done, the sooner the process can start, protecting your rights and benefits.
You Have Two Years to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Following the initial notification, you have two years to formally file a Workers’ Compensation Claim (WC 15) with the Division of Workers’ Compensation in Colorado. This form must be filled out in English. This two-year window applies even if your employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance at the time of the injury. If that’s the case, you might still qualify for benefits through the Colorado Uninsured Employer Fund.
What Happens If You Miss the Deadline?
Failing to meet the aforementioned deadlines can have a profound impact on your future. If you do not file the Workers’ Claim for Compensation form within the stipulated two years, you risk forfeiting your right to all workers’ compensation benefits. There are exceptions to this rule, but they are scarce and usually rely on unique circumstances.
If you miss the 10-day notification window, you may still qualify for benefits, so you should provide notice of your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Additionally, if your employer doesn’t provide you with a copy of the notice or fails to inform employees about their workers’ compensation benefits, the notification period will be extended.
What to Do After a Workplace Injury in Denver
If you are injured at work, it is important to act quickly to protect yourself and your right to benefits. Below are the steps that you should take immediately after the incident:
Seek medical care as soon as possible. In an emergency, prioritize getting medical treatment at the nearest hospital. For non-emergency situations, choose a medical provider from the designated list provided by your employer within seven days after you’ve notified them about the injury.
Notify your employer about the injury as soon as possible. Remember, you will need to provide notice within 10 working days of the injury.
Collect any evidence related to workplace injury. This can include photographs, videos, witness information, and a detailed account of the incident.
Once you have sought medical care, contact a Denver workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you navigate the complex workers’ comp process and ensure that you meet all the important deadlines and procedural requirements for your claim. Schedule a free consultation as soon as possible to discuss your case and next steps.