Colorado Worker’s Compensation Laws

Some strict legal provisions have been made under the Colorado worker’s compensation laws to ensure financial protection to those employees who get injured while at job or suffer from diseases caused by hazardous factors present at the place of work. Because of the disability caused by job-related injuries or illnesses, employees often cannot return to work temporarily or permanently. In such cases, the state laws have made it mandatory for the employer to provide monetary compensation to those employees; the amount of compensation must be sufficient enough to cover the resulting medical expenses as well as the lost wages resulting from the disability caused by work-related injuries.

Legal Representation And Limit On Attorney’s Fee

Though the Colorado worker’s compensation laws are in favor of the employees, things can be a little complicated, especially for those who try to handle such cases on their own. That is the reason why it is always recommended to hire an experienced Colorado workers compensation lawyer for legal representation. As per the laws applicable in the state of Colorado, the lawyer can charge a commission (attorney’s fee) up to 20% of the total compensation received by the injured employee. You can find a detailed list of qualified workers comp attorneys in Colorado by contacting the Colorado Bar Association; you can reach them at 1900 Grant St. 9th Floor, Denver, CO 80203.

Right To Choose The Physician

As per the Colorado worker’s compensation laws, employers have the legal right to choose physicians to treat work-related injuries or illnesses for the injured employees. Initially, the employee must use the physician chosen by his or her employer for evaluation, care and treatment of the injuries. However, at a later stage, if the employee is not satisfied with the treatment, they can file an appeal and request a change in the health care provider. The appeal can be filed with the Division of Workers’ Compensation in the Colorado Department of Labor.

Waiting Period For Temporary Benefits

An injured employee becomes entitled to temporary compensation benefits after three days of waiting period from the date of the incident (when the injuries occurred or when a work-related illness was diagnosed). No temporary compensation is issued in cases where the employees are able to return to work within the 3-day period without requiring any modification in the working schedule.

Permanent Workers Compensation Disability Benefits

The Colorado worker’s compensation laws have also made provisions of higher compensation in cases where the injured employed suffers from permanent impairment or loss of certain body parts, such as fingers, eyes and toes. The amount of the compensation is determined on the basis of an array of factors, such as the severity of the impairment, which is determined by the physician through medical examinations.


If the occupational injuries or illnesses result in disfigurement, such as a prominent scar on face, the victim may be entitled to a disfigurement benefit, which is in addition to the compensation receive to cover medical expenses and lost wages. If the disfeaturement has been caused by an accident occurred after July 1, 2007, the employee can get up to $2000 as disfigurement benefit. However, the accident occurred after July 1, 2007, the disfigurement benefit can amount up to $4000. For extreme disfigurement, the maximum amount of compensation can go as high as $8000.

Notification Requirements

The Colorado worker’s compensation laws require injured employees to notify their employers in writing about the injuries and illness caused at the workplace. This written notification must be sent to the employer within four days from the date of the incident. However, here, it is important to note that you may still have the right to sue your employer for compensation even if you fail to send the notification within the 4-day period. It is just that failure to meet this notification requirement will result in the loss of compensation for the number of days you are late in sending the written notification. For example, if you notify your employer after 10 days, you will risk losing the compensation for 6 days.

Death Benefits

As per the Colorado worker’s compensation laws, the surviving spouse of an employee who dies from an occupational injury or illness is entitled to death benefits, which amounts to 2/3rd of the average weekly wages of the deceased. In addition, death benefits also include up to $7000 to cover burial expenses. The spouse will continue to receive the weekly wages until he or she dies or remarries. Besides that, additional benefits may also be provided to children below 18. Children can continue to receive these additional benefits up to 21 years of age if they are full-time students. In case, the deceased employee was under 21 years of age, his or her parents are provided the death benefits of up to $15000.

The Colorado worker’s compensation laws do not impose any maximum cap on the amount of fee charged by an attorney to handle such cases. However, the lawyer must work on a contingency fee basis. You are advised to read the terms and conditions of the agreement with the lawyer thoroughly before you sign up for their services.