When you get injured at work, the clock starts ticking on your workers’ compensation claim. While this means that you can start receiving benefits fairly quickly, it also means that you need to be aware of the deadlines that apply to your claim. If you wait to long to report your injury or appeal a denial of your claim, you could lose your right to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
Here is an overview of some of the key deadlines that apply to workers’ compensation claims in Colorado:
1. Deadline to Report Your Injury in Writing
When you get injured at work, you have four days to report your injury to your employer in writing. If you wait longer than four days and your employer has posted a sign requiring four days’ written notice, you can lose up to one day of benefits for each day that you are late in reporting your injury.
2. Deadline for Your Employer to Report Your Injury to Its Insurer
Assuming you report your injury within four days, your employer has 10 days from the date of the accident to report your injury to its insurance company. Most employers carry workers’ compensation insurance, and their insurers are responsible for reviewing, approving and denying employees’ claims for benefits.
3. Deadline for Approval or Denial of Your Claim
Once your employer files its report, the insurance company has 20 days to approve or deny your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. If it denies your claim, you will receive a “Notice of Contest” in the mail.
4. Deadline to File an Application for an Expedited Hearing
If you receive a Notice of Contest, you have 45 days from the date of mailing to file an Application for an Expedited Hearing. This is the first step in the workers’ compensation appeals process. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation insurance companies routinely deny employees’ claims without proper justification; and, as a result, this is a key deadline for many injured workers.
5. Deadline to Object to a Final Admission of Liability
If you receive a benefits award (through what is known as a “Final Admission of Liability”) but the benefits awarded are less than you deserve, you have 30 days to object to the insurance company’s determination. This is true for awards issued with and without the filing of an Application for an Expedited Hearing. Insurance companies routinely try to limit injured employees’ benefits as well, so you need to make sure you have a clear understanding of the medical and disability benefits you are entitled to recover.
6. Deadline to File a Personal Injury Claim
When you get injured at work, filing for workers’ compensation is not necessarily your only option. Since workers’ compensation benefits are limited, it is critical that you explore your other options as well. If you have a personal injury claim against a property owner or other third party, you have two years to file a claim for damages (or three years if you were injured in a motor vehicle collision).
Speak with a Denver Accident Attorney for Free
If you have suffered a job-related injury in Denver, it is important that you discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible. We offer free initial consultations, and you do not pay any fees or costs unless we help you win just compensation. To schedule an appointment with an attorney at Levine Law, please call (303) 333-8000, or ask What’s My Case Worth? online now.