A Brief Overview of Colorado Workers Compensation Law

Published: 11th January 2009
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Even if employees have not sustained work-related injuries, it would still pay to know the important points of Colorado workers compensation law. This is in keeping with their right to know what to expect in case of accidents in the workplace.

Among other things, it is good to know that disability and death caused by stress and heart attacks are not automatically covered by the Colorado workers compensation law unless direct cause would be proven. To this end, workers must prove that mental and emotional stress must solely be encountered in the workplace and nowhere else. Heart attacks must also be proven to be caused by exertions made within the workplace in order to invoke the Colorado workers compensation law.

The law also provides provisions on how to compute for the amount of compensation given to the disabled worker, to be given on the basis of the weekly wage. There are also guidelines included in the Colorado workers compensation law which defines the periods of disability and in which compensation shall be given as wages for the period in which the disabled worker is unable to report for work due to work-related injury. The Colorado workers compensation law also specifies timeframe in which the employer or insurance company must pay the first installment of the settlement, which is no later than 20 days after getting notice of the claim. However, employers can also extend this time frame by asking for verification from an attending physician on employee's disability and inability to go back to work.

Under the Colorado workers compensation law, permanent injury settlement must be given in schedules specified, on top of temporary disability compensation. The law also specifies a fixed amount per week for permanent injuries and the total amount would depend on body parts permanently injured or disabled. Injuries made to more than one body part would mean adding up the scheduled payments for parts affected. This is when the expertise of a lawyer with vast knowledge in Colorado workers compensation law would be most beneficial, to ensure the maximum possible benefits would be collected. It would also be good to know that the state also imposes maximum limits for temporary disability and permanent disability payments. However, additional compensation may be given to employees who suffer permanent disfigurement in body part visible or exposed to the public, such as the face. Under the Colorado workers compensation law, these disfigurements include burn marks and scars on the face and limbs and loss of limbs, leaving stumps.

There are also cases in which Colorado workers compensation law specifies a reduced amount of non-medical compensation given to injured or disabled workers. Such is the case when the employee is proven to have ingested alcoholic beverages or took illicit drugs during the time of the accident. Compensation may also be terminated in the event that the injured worker has been convicted and sent to prison.

The Colorado workers compensation law also has provisions and guidelines on the amount and schedule of death benefits given to wholly and partial dependents of the disabled worker, including instances in which compensation may be terminated, such as in the case of remarriage of widow or children reaching legal adulthood.




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