Denver Area Workers’ Compensation FAQ’s
How long should I wait to speak with an attorney after I am hurt at work?
Short answer: Do not wait! Claimants’ attorneys make money contingent on the claimant making money. Thus, the percentage an attorney can charge does not change depending on how long they work on a claim. The earlier you speak with an attorney, the faster they can ensure you receive all of the benefits you are entitled to.
If you are hurt on the job, do not assume the insurance carrier will automatically provide you all of your benefits. Come in for a free consultation immediately, and one of our attorneys will get your claim on the right track and keep it there.
What benefits should I receive if I am injured on the job?
When you have an admitted work-related injury, you are entitled to three (3) types of benefits.
. All reasonable and necessary medical treatment resulting from a work-related injury is compensable. This means any doctor appointments, physical therapy, surgery, prescriptions, and necessary medical devices should all be paid for by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. We can help if the insurance carrier denies treatment that an authorized treating physician deems reasonable and necessary.
. If a worker misses three or more consecutive days of work because of a work-related injury, they are entitled to Temporary Total Disability(TTD) in the amount of 66 and 2/3% of their Average Weekly Wage (AWW).Ex. If you make $1,000 a week, and you miss a week of work due to a work-related injury, you are entitled to a TTD award of $666.
Further, if a worker returns to light duty with less pay, they are entitled to Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) to ensure they receive 66 and 2/3% of their AWW before the injury. Ex. If you make $1,000 a week, and you return to light duty making $500 a week, you are entitled to a TPD benefit of $166 in order to equal the TTD award of $666 you would be awarded if you were not working at all.
Permanent Partial Disability
. If an authorized treating physician places you at Maximum Medical Improvement(MMI), then they believe there are no further medical procedures that will improve your condition. When placed at MMI, the authorized treating physician will administer tests to find out whether you have a permanent impairment as a result of the injury. If you do have impairment, you are entitled to a sum of money that varies depending on the type of impairment and the severity. Getting the highest impairment is crucial to your claim, and we can help ensure it is as high as possible.
If your injuries are severe enough, there is another benefit called Permanent Total Disability (PTD). In order to receive PTD, you must be completely incapable of sustaining a job of any kind. If your authorized treating physician feels you are permanently and totally disabled, you will likely need to prove it at a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
My workers’ compensation doctor wants to perform a procedure, but the insurance carrier denied it. Am I out of luck?
Not necessarily. If an authorized treating physician requests a procedure, but the insurance carrier denies it, the claimant may argue the necessity of the procedure in front of an administrative law judge. The judge will determine whether the denial was proper, and whether the procedure is reasonable and necessary.
Going in front of an administrative law judge can be overwhelming and scary for claimants. Our office has handled hundreds of hearings, and can take the anxiety out of speaking in front of a judge. If you have been denied medical benefits by the insurance carrier, we can help.
What if the insurance carrier denies my workers’ compensation claim?
After you report your work injury to your employer, there is a possibility the insurance carrier may deny the claim. Typically, a denied claim results when the insurance carrier either believes the injury was not work-related or if they are still investigating the claim. Either way, the benefits owed through workers’ compensation will not be administered while the claim is denied.
In order to make a denied claim compensable and to receive benefits, a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge will likely be necessary. Representation from an attorney is crucial at such a hearing so that the best argument in your favor can be made. Our attorneys have handled hundreds of hearings, and are highly skilled in making denied claims compensable. Even if your claim is denied, we can help you.
Is my claim finished if I received a Final Admission of Liability?
Although we prefer workers come speak with us as close to the date of injury as possible, we understand that is not always the case. Sometimes workers wait until they receive a Final Admission of Liability in the mail before speaking to an attorney. There are still numerous steps we can take to assist in your claim, even after a Final Admission has been received.
A Final Admission of Liability is a document issued by insurance carriers once they believe a worker is at Maximum Medical Improvement. Although it signifies the carrier’s end of liability, the worker can object to the document within 30 days of service. If you receive a Final Admission of Liability, you still have options, but it is crucial that you contact our office immediately in order to object timely.
What happens if my employer fires me after my injury?
An employer reserves the right to fire a worker at any time after they are injured on the job. However, so long as the worker is not terminated for cause, the insurance carrier must pay wage loss benefits called Total Temporary Disability (TTD). Insurance carriers must pay 66 and 2/3 percent of a worker’s Average Weekly Wage while the worker is on restrictions for a work related injury.
If your employer fires you because you cannot perform the duties of the job because of injury related restrictions, the insurance carrier should pay TTD benefits. If they do not, you may need the assistance of an attorney to ensure benefits are timely paid and penalties are sought.