If you lose your job while you are injured and unable to work after a work accident, it does not mean your workers’ compensation coverage will stop. You should still receive the coverage you need to cover medical expenses as dictated by Colorado’s workers’ compensation laws. You are also probably entitled to lost wage benefits while you recuperate from your injury and up until you reach maximum medical improvement.
Losing a job can be devastating, especially when you lose your job while you are out for an injury from a work accident. It can be hard to know what to do or what effect this will have on your future employment. At the Eley Law Firm in Denver, we can help you understand your options after a job loss due to a workers’ compensation claim.
Attorney Cliff Eley has more than 30 years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims for clients throughout Colorado. Call us at 303-785-2828 or email us for a free case evaluation.
Losing your job while you are out on medical leave is not the same as getting fired. While you are out with an injury and workers’ compensation claim, your employer is not required to hold your position for you.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides some job protection, but once that time has passed, your employer can let you go. If you qualify for leave under FMLA, you could receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during which time your job is protected and held for you. Your employer may require you to use your paid leave as part of your medical leave. We can help you understand how FMLA applies in your case and your rights regarding leave.
While your resume and work record will show a gap in time while you were injured, this should not have a negative effect on your job prospects. Once you are ready to return to the workforce, you can explain your leave when you apply for new work.
Everyone’s situation is different and every industry is unique. Whether or not you will be able to get a new job will depend on many different factors. If your injury limits your ability to return to your former line of work, however, the insurance carrier may offer vocational rehabilitation to help you switch to a role that is suited to your physical limitations. However, offers of vocational rehabilitation are rare and usually only done when the insurance company fears that your injuries can prevent you from doing any kind of work. That would entitle you to permanent total benefits which would pay you for the rest of your life. In cases like these, the carrier may offer vocational rehabilitation.
If you are injured and permanently unable to return to any type of work, you may qualify for permanent total disability benefits. This is defined as two-thirds of your previous wages. This coverage can last for the rest of your life. At Eley Law Firm, we can help you determine if you are eligible for this coverage or, if you are able to return to some other type of employment, whether you qualify for permanent partial disability benefits.
To discuss your workers’ comp claim and the loss of your job with an experienced lawyer, call us at 303-785-2828 or email us. Your first consultation with our firm is free of charge.