If you’ve been injured at work or diagnosed with an illness as a result of your job, it can be difficult to think even a few steps ahead of your immediate needs — medical assessments, treatment and recovery. You need a plan to pay your bills and handle your household and personal responsibilities. But in addition to all that, you need to let your boss know if you’ll be filing paperwork to receive workers’ compensation.
Although this compensation is part of the coverage your employer is supposed to provide in the event of an accident, actually seeking compensation can put you in a tough spot with your boss and higher-level employers, who may take advantage of any mistakes you make to deny you the financial support you need.
Colorado Requirements for Reporting Accidents
The requirements for notifying your employer after an on-the-job injury or accident are strict and should be followed completely to avoid penalty. According to the Colorado Revised Statutes 8-53-102, employees who have suffered injuries at work or while performing work-related tasks must report the incident to their employer in writing within four days of the accident. Failing to provide notification within that four-day period could result in a loss of a day’s compensation for each day after the fourth day.
For employees who have contracted diseases or illnesses caused by their job or related to the duties they perform, they must report the illness within 30 days of the first definitive manifestation of symptoms. This report also must be made in writing. In either situation, a manager or supervisor can provide a written report of an injury or illness on behalf of an employee if the employee is incapacitated or otherwise unable to do so.
In the event of a death caused by a work-related injury or illness, notice must be given within 30 days of the employee’s passing. Often, an employer will waive the penalties if an employee fails to meet any of these deadlines, but this waiver is not required. Additionally, any failure to report an incident within the specified timeframe could cause the employee to receive a reduced amount of workers’ compensation if the employer raises the issue at the hearing.
Colorado Requirements for Employers
Employers are also held to strict requirements when it comes to communicating timeframes and responsibilities to their employees. Every employee should know what to do, and where to find information, in the event of an accident or injury. This information should include a breakdown of the timelines — 4 days to report an accident, 30 days to report an illness — and should include the penalties for failing to meet those deadlines.
At Levine Law, we represent anyone who has been injured at work or has contracted an occupational medical complication related to his or her job. For more information on reporting incidents to employers and filing a workers’ compensation claim, contact a Denver workers’ compensation attorney at our office for a consultation today.