How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Denver?
Navigating the aftermath of a workplace injury can be both emotionally and physically taxing. In these situations, understanding how to file a workers’ compensation claim is crucial. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help clarify the process and support your journey to financial and physical recovery.
Step #1: Seek Medical Attention
First and foremost, prioritize your health and well-being. If you’ve sustained injuries that require immediate medical attention—like broken bones, severe burns, or anything affecting your breathing—rush to the nearest emergency room.
Once you have addressed your emergency medical needs, you can move on to the next steps in your claim. After you report your accident to your employer, you should receive a list of approved doctors within seven days. The doctor that you choose, known as the Authorized Treating Physician, will be your point of contact for any referrals or further medical procedures.
Step #2: Report the Injury to Your Employer
Next, you should report your injury to your employer within four days of the injury. While it might seem straightforward to just verbally notify your boss, a written record is your safety net, serving as official evidence that you reported the injury within the required timeframe. If your direct supervisor refuses to take your report, contact an attorney and escalate the issue to human resources or senior management.
Step #3: Gather Evidence
A successful workers’ compensation claim often hinges on the strength of the evidence that you present. After your accident, try to gather as much evidence as possible. This may include photographs of your injuries, the accident site, eyewitness accounts, security camera footage if available, and relevant timestamps. Your medical records will also serve as valuable pieces of evidence.
Step #4: File Your Workers’ Compensation Form
In Denver, a Workers’ Claim for Compensation form must be filed with the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation within two years from the date of the injury. This form, available at the Division’s offices or their website, requires you to provide a detailed account of the incident. It’s advisable to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney before submitting this form to ensure that it is free of any errors and contains comprehensive details.
Step #5: Wait for the Decision
Once you have submitted the appropriate forms, the insurance company will review your claim and notify you of its decision. If your injury has kept you off work for more than three days, you should receive an update within 20 days. The company might fully accept, deny, or even partially accept your claim.
If unsatisfied with the decision, you have the right to request a hearing at the Office of Administrative Courts. Here, a comprehensive review of all evidence, testimonies, and documents is undertaken by a judge, who will issue the final decision. Any disagreements with the judge’s decision must be voiced within 30 days through an official objection.
Trust a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Guide You Through the Process
A Denver workers’ compensation claim can be challenging to navigate alone. In these situations, an attorney can be your advocate, ensuring that your rights are upheld and guiding you through the process. If you find yourself in such a situation, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance—contact a Denver workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your path forward.