Denver Work Injury Lawyer
Whether you work in an office or out in the field, injuries during work are common. They can be anything from a broken arm to possible death. Each separate injury is treated differently and requires a different number of days off.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 2.9 million injuries in the workplace in 2016. This amounts to 2.9 reported injuries per 100 workers. Almost one-third of the workplace incidents that did not result in death were still serious and the victim had to take days off work.
Our experienced work injury attorneys in Denver will help you come up with the best solution after an injury. We will fight for you and get you the justice you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation.
Common Types of Work Injuries
In 2016, the most common industries where people were injured were manufacturing and retail trade. Construction, wholesale trade, finance, and insurance followed up these two industries as leading locations for occupational injury.
About 892,270 of all workplace injuries led the employee to take days off work. The average number of days that each person needed was eight. However, there is a massive range of how many days people took off, so there were many people who had far more days off and many who had fewer.
The incidents that caused people to take the most days off that changed the most between 2015 and 2016 were falls, slips, and trips. Exposure to dangerous substances or work environments, fires and explosions, and violence and other injuries by persons or animal were the other most common reasons for days off that changed between 2015 and 2016.
Specifically, sprains, strains, and tears were the most widely cited injuries. Cuts, lacerations, and punctures were also common reasons. Soreness, pain, and fractures also caused employees to need time off work.
How Workers’ Comp Works
The Colorado Workers’ Compensation Program makes it mandatory for almost all public and private employers in Colorado to maintain insurance coverage for employees who suffer injuries on the job. Workers’ compensation provides benefits to injured workers for their medical bills and lost wages, without the employee having to prove someone else’s negligence. As a part- or full-time employee, understanding the state’s workers’ compensation system can help you protect your rights in the event of a workplace accident in Denver.
Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation?
According to the law, all public and private employers with one or more full- or part-time employees must maintain adequate workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employees. Rare exceptions to the rule exist (e.g., independent contractors), but for the most part, this covers all employers and companies. An employee at a covered workplace can request workers’ compensation benefits as long as the following elements are true:
- The injury or illness occurred at work or while performing work-related activities
- The injured worker was an employee of the company at the time of the incident
- The injured worker did not intentionally cause his/her own injuries
- The injured worker didn’t suffer an injury due to his/her own negligence
In Colorado, an intoxicated worker who suffers an injury can still receive half (50%) of a workers’ compensation award. If you aren’t sure whether your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will cover your recent injuries, talk to your employer. Your employer legally must make workers’ comp insurance information readily available to you, as well as post a flyer somewhere visibly in the workplace on the subject.
How to Apply for Workers’ Compensation in Colorado
The first thing you must do to request workers’ compensation coverage for a work-related accident in Colorado is to notify your employer of the injuries. You have four working days after the accident to report it to your employer. Your employer should furnish prompt medical treatment upon hearing about an accident in the workplace. The insurance company and employer have the right to choose the physician you see for your work-related injuries. Go to the doctor and keep track of all medical records relating to your injuries and treatment.
Your employer must notify his/her insurance company of your injuries within 10 days of the accident. Should your employer fail to file your claim with the workers’ comp insurance company, you can do so yourself. The initial claim (the Employer’s First Report of Injury) should include all the important facts of a case. At this point, the insurance company may conduct an investigation of the accident and then accept or deny your claim.
If you receive an acceptance, the insurance company will offer benefits in an amount it deems appropriate for your losses. In general, injured workers will receive full reimbursement for all accident-related medical bills (past and future) as well as two-thirds of their average weekly wages (AWW). Workers may also receive temporary disability benefits (total disability or partial disability) or permanent disability benefits depending on the severity and impact of the injury. The employee will continue receiving regular workers’ compensation checks until he or she heals from the injuries and returns to work, or for life for permanent injuries.
When to Call a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
You might need to contact a workers’ compensation attorney in Denver if your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance, if your employer or the insurer denied your claim, or if someone’s negligence caused your accident. A personal injury lawsuit against your employer and/or another party could result in greater compensation than an insurance claim alone. If your workplace accident caused serious injuries such as broken bones, brain injury, or spinal cord injury, contact a Denver personal injury attorney.
Common Types of Fatality
The most common way people were injured fatally in the workplace was during transportation incidents. In 2016, there were 2,083 accidents during which people died. This amounts to 40% of workplace fatalities.
Violence and other injuries by persons or animals were the second most common with 866 fatalities.
There are many different jobs where you can be injured. Usually, the more physical your job is, the more likely it is that you will suffer some kind of injury or die. In 2016, people who worked in the logging industry had the highest rate of fatal work injuries at 135.9 fatalities per 100,000 workers.
Some of the other occupations that reported a high number of fatalities were roofers, refuse and recyclable material collectors, structural iron and steel workers, driver/sales workers and truck drivers, farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers. Many other occupations also offer significant danger to employees and have a higher chance of injury.
Jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector saw the rates of their fatal injuries up 32% in 2016. A large reason for this is that the food and drinking industry had its fatalities rise by 40%, going from 118 to 165.
Workplace injuries are common. It is important to recognize the most common types of worker injury and the careers that are most at risk. Fatalities are a part of worker injury, but by remaining aware of the risks, you can decrease your chances of falling victim to a workplace injury. Always get advice from a Denver personal injury attorney if you have any doubts about your rights and protections.