The Colorado workers' compensation claims process

Colorado requires all businesses with one or more employees to carry workers' compensation insurance. Workers' compensation benefits and coverage safeguard your company against the financial burden of fully paying for employee care and eases financial stress on employees who would otherwise lose pay when they're out of work during recovery.

Workplace injuries and ailments do happen, and often. In fact, as of August 2022, nearly 20,000 workers' compensation claims have been filed in Colorado.

So, what should you do if workplace-related injuries or illnesses occur? It’s best to follow the Colorado workers' compensation process for the resolution of each claim.

To complete the process, you'll adhere to the claims timeline from the state's Department of Labor and Employment. Be sure not to miss a deadline on the timeline or your company may find itself liable for additional costs, which may include penalties.

The workers' comp insurance process begins with the employee

Whenever an employee is injured on the job or falls ill, the employee must report it to you in writing and within ten days of the occurrence. If the injury or illness is critical, the employee should immediately seek medical treatment from the nearest health facility.

Otherwise, they have two years (and in some cases, three) from the date of the work-related injury or illness onset to file a claim with the Division of Workers' Compensation, or else the claim is closed.

In non-emergency situations, you will offer your employee a list of designated providers to choose from in a Letter to Injured Worker, so they can get treated as soon as possible.

The next step is the employer’s. Within 10 days of receiving the written notification of injury or illness from your employee, you must report the occurrence to your insurer.

Lateness in reporting the injury to your insurer can have many adverse effects, including delays in care for your employee, penalties, and increased claim costs, which can lead to higher premiums.

Admitting or denying liability

Once the employee files a claim with the Division, the insurer has 20 days to act. If liability is accepted, the insurer will file a General Admission. If liability is denied, the insurer will file a Notice of Contest and the employee may apply within 45 days for an expedited or standard hearing with the Division. Expedited and standard hearings occur within 60 or 120 days from the application, respectively.

File a final admission

Once the employee has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), the insurer can then file a Final Admission of Liability (FA) with the Division. Employers have only 30 days from the receipt of the MMI report to file.

If the employee objects or disagrees with anything in the FA, they have 30 days from the FA to file an objection with the Division.

If the employee does nothing in response to the FA, the Division will close the claim.

Other Colorado workers' compensation claims considerations

The workers' compensation system in Colorado is no-fault; if the claims are accurate and prompt, workers may be eligible for compensation even if their negligence caused their injuries.

Ensure your workers and leaders are aware of their roles and responsibilities in case on-the-job injuries or illnesses occur. Detail the process in your employee handbook and train your leaders to know when and how to spring into action.

If you are looking for peace of mind, choose the workers' compensation partner who's been helping employers for over 100 years.

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Key Takeaways

How does workers’ comp work?
(and other FAQs)

How does workers' comp work?
This is dependent on multiple factors, such as industry, claims history, risk, and other factors.
How much does workers' comp cost?
This is dependent on multiple factors, such as industry, claims history, risk, and other factors.
How should I respond to an injury at work?
This is dependent on multiple factors, such as industry, claims history, risk, and other factors.
More workers' compensation FAQs