Questions and Answers – Workers Compensation Law – Fort Collins

Q.  I was hurt on the job what do I do now?

Report the injury to your supervisor and/or human resources.  It is important that the report be in writing so if your employer does not file a written report, make sure that you write a summary of what happened and give it to your employer.  Always be sure to keep a copy.

Q. My employer wants me to sign documents after I was hurt and I don’t completely understand them what should I do?

Advise your employer that you do not fully understand the document, request a copy and take it to a trusted friend, relative or lawyer to explain the document to you.

Q. I am unable to perform my regular job and they have offered me a desk job do I need to take it?

Your employer is required to send a certified letter to you with the “light job duty” offer.  This should include a complete description of the job and must be approved by your authorized treating physician.  This is the general rule.  There are exceptions to this rule.    Failure to return to work after an official job offer can result in non-payment of temporary disability benefits.

Q. What benefits will I receive throughout my workers compensation claim?

On an admitted claim, you will receive medical benefits.  If you are off work, due to your injury, you will receive temporary total disability benefits (TTD).  These benefits are calculated from your gross wages and are 2/3 your average weekly wage at the time of your injury (with exceptions).   If there is permanent injury as a result of your injury, you may receive permanent partial or permanent total disability.  You may also be entitled to disfigurement benefits for scarring.

Q. What exactly is workers compensation?

Workers’ compensation is an administrative system designed to quickly compensate and treat workers who are injured on the job regardless of fault.

Q. What are my employer’s responsibilities under workers compensation laws?

Your employer must report injuries or accidents to their workers’ compensation insurer.  They must send you to a doctor when you have been injured.  They must give you a choice of two doctors so that you may choose which doctor you want to treat with.

Q. What is the difference between temporary disability versus permanent disability?

Temporary disability benefits are designed to compensate you for wage loss while you are still treating for your injuries and off work or working part time.  Permanent disability is designed to compensate you for any permanent disability or impairment as a result of your work injury.

Q.  My employer is saying that I am fault for my injury and I disagree what do I do?

Generally, workers’ compensation is considered a no fault insurance.  This means that you will get benefits regardless of who is at fault for the injury.  The exception comes when an employee knowingly violates a company safety rule.  An example of this could be not wearing a seatbelt while driving, getting into an accident and injuring yourself.  If there is a safety rule violation, the medical benefits will continue but your Temporary, Permanent Disability and Disfigurement benefits will be reduced by 50%

Q. How long does it take to resolve a Workers Compensation case?

This can vary based on the severity of the injuries.

Q. What if my injuries are so severe that I am never able to work again?

If you can never do any work, even part time work, you may be eligible for Permanent Total Disability benefits.  Permanent Total Disability benefits are equal to the Temporary Total Disability benefits for the rest of your life or until you can work again.  In order to prove that you are entitled to receive these benefits, you must prove that you cannot do any work even extremely part time work.

Q. My employer is trying to tell me that I need to go to specific doctors and I prefer mine do I need to listed to them?

You must go to the employer’s designated physicians.

Q.  What is the best way to resolve a Workers Compensation claim?

This varies on the case itself.  You can settle the claim on a full and final basis or accept the Final Admission or go to Court.  The best way to resolve a claim is to determine what solution is in your best interest.