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Top Mistakes to Avoid When Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Colorado

Suffering an injury or falling ill while at work can leave you eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The process of filing for these benefits can seem overwhelming, given the stress and challenges you are already facing due to the injury or illness. To ensure the best outcome, it is crucial to minimize errors as much as possible. In this article, we will discuss the top mistakes to avoid when filing a workers’ compensation claim in Colorado.

File a Injury Claim

Mistake #1: Failing to Report Your Injury

The entire workers’ compensation process in Colorado hinges on your employer being notified of any work-related injury that causes missing work for five or more consecutive days. Once the employer is aware of the injury, the law requires them (employers) to inform their workers’ compensation insurer and other relevant parties. This initiates the process of determining benefits eligibility.

Never assume that your employer is already aware of your injury. Even if you believe they have knowledge of your accident or illness, it is unwise to presume that they will take the necessary steps on your behalf. Therefore, it is imperative to report your injury fully, accurately, and in writing to your employer as soon as possible. Do so after a workplace mishap or upon realizing you have contracted a work-related illness. This initial step kick starts the benefits process and lays a strong foundation for your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Colorado.

Mistake #2: Going to Unauthorized Doctors

It is crucial to understand that your own doctor can assess your condition. However, your employer or their insurance company typically has a list of authorized doctors. Ensure you adhere to their instructions and visit the doctor they designate for your workers’ compensation claim. You must also follow the doctor’s recommendations and ensure you take any prescribed medications as part of your recovery process. Adhering to these guidelines is a critical aspect of a successful workers’ compensation claim in Colorado.

Mistake #3: Missing Deadlines

In the event of a workplace injury or diagnosis of a work-related illness, timely action is crucial. Report the incident or illness to your employer right away, and ensure you do so in writing. You should also keep a copy as proof of notification. We recommend notifying your employer within 30 days of the accident or diagnosis. Missing this deadline can have serious consequences, potentially resulting in the denial of your right to seek medical benefits or compensation for lost wages.

Mistake #4: Failing to Report Your Injury Due to Misconceptions

It is vital to note that not all workplace injuries are immediately noticeable. Even if an injury appears minor or lacks a single dramatic incident, it doesn’t automatically disqualify you from seeking workers’ compensation benefits.

For example, conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome can make you eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, despite not stemming from a single specific event. Avoid the mistake of assuming you do not have a valid claim simply because the injury does not seem serious. It is crucial to report any workplace injury promptly and consult experts to assess your eligibility for benefits. Neglecting to report an injury due to misconceptions can potentially lead to the loss of deserved compensation.

Mistake #5: Not Providing a Comprehensive and Accurate Injury Report

When completing an injury report, it is vital to be thorough. Ensure you include crucial details such as the accident’s location, date, and time, along with a comprehensive and accurate description of your injury. A thorough report is key to properly documenting the incident and establishing the foundation for your workers’ compensation claim.

Mistake #6: Relying on Personal Health Insurance for Workplace Injuries

It’s important to realize that your employer’s workers’ compensation plan is specifically crafted to handle all your medical expenses tied to a workplace injury, including disability benefits if you can’t work. Conversely, private health insurance typically steps in after you’ve paid deductibles and co-payments, and it doesn’t stretch its coverage to on-the-job injuries. So, relying on your personal health insurance for workplace injuries can result in avoidable costs and missed opportunities for workers’ compensation benefits.

Get the Help You Need Today

Avoiding these common mistakes is paramount to securing the benefits you deserve. From promptly reporting injuries to seeking authorized medical care, understanding the process is vital. Remember, your rights matter, and taking the right steps can make all the difference.

At The Law Offices of W. Dan Mahoney, P.C., we specialize in helping individuals navigate the world of workers’ compensation claims in Colorado. Our experienced team is here to provide the guidance and advocacy you need during these challenging times. Contact us today for expert assistance in your workers’ compensation claim journey.

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