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Workers’ Compensation in Colorado: Am I Covered?

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Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical bills and certain other losses when a Colorado employee is injured on the job.  Unfortunately, although all Colorado workers may dedicate plenty of effort to their jobs, not everyone who works in Colorado is covered by workers’ compensation insurance.  If you aren’t sure whether workers’ compensation covers you after an on the job injury, an experienced Denver workers’ compensation attorney can help answer your questions.

Who is covered by workers’ compensation in Colorado?

Workers’ compensation insurance covers most Colorado workers who are employees.  However, some employees are not covered.  These include:

  • Workers who perform certain types of casual maintenance or repair work that totals under $2,000 per calendar year.
  • Workers who do certain types of domestic work, maintenance, or repair work for private homeowners part-time.
  • Licensed real estate agents and brokers who work on commission.
  • Drivers who have lease agreements with a common carrier or a contract carrier.
  • Anyone who volunteers time or services with a ski area operator.
  • Workers who provide host home services as part of residential services and support.
  • Federal and railroad employees (although federal workers’ compensation rules may apply).
  • Independent contractors, including those who perform specific for-hire transportation jobs.

Not every type of non-covered employee is listed here.  Talk to a Denver workers’ compensation attorney for a more complete list.

Who is an “independent contractor”? 

An “independent contractor” is a worker who makes an agreement to complete a specific project with a set price.  Although some independent contractors may work on-site with employees, the employer may not control the means or method of their work performance.  Generally speaking, an employer pays an independent contractor for a certain product or result and may only control that product or result; the employer may not control when, where, or how the independent contractor does the work.

Courts weigh several factors when determining who is an independent contractor for the purposes of Colorado workers’ compensation laws.  Sometimes, the distinction is easy to make; in other cases, determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee can be very difficult.  

In Colorado, “employees” may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but “independent contractors” generally are not entitled to benefits, unless they have purchased their own workers’ compensation insurance.  Workers who are injured on the job and don’t know which category they belong to should consult a Denver workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible after an injury.

What should I do if I am injured?

The first thing you should do after a workplace injury is seek medical help, especially if the injury is serious.  Then, notify your employer in writing about your injury within four working days.  Follow both of these steps even if you are not sure whether you are covered by workers’ compensation.

The experienced Denver workers’ compensation attorneys at Levine Law are dedicated to fully protecting the rights of every client we represent. Contact our firm today for more information regarding your workers’ compensation case. 

August 19th, 2013 | Posted by Levine Law, on Worker's Compensation

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