Colorado has established a workers compensation system in Article 41 of the Colorado code. Under this system, those who are injured at work can receive disability benefits to compensate them for money they are not able to earn as a result of their injury. The Colorado workers’ compensation statute outlines the availability of benefits in sections 8-42-101 through 8-42-125, which addresses both temporary and permanent disability. The system exists in order to make sure that workers can take care of themselves after a work injury.
Unfortunately, sometimes employers and insurers will try to limit your right to disability benefits, especially in cases of permanent disability. If you are not getting the full benefits available under the workers’ compensation system, it is advisable to contact an experienced Boulder workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. The Dominick Law Firm can help you to get the benefits you deserve. Our Denver workers’ compensation attorneys have assisted clients with permanent disability claims throughout Boulder, Thornton, Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, Erie, Broomfield, Lyons, Mead, Loveland, Wheatridge, Greeley, Ft. Collins, Superior, Denver and the entire Colorado Front range. If you live in this area and need assistance with your permanent disability claim, contact us today at (303) 447-2644 or using our online form for a free consultation to learn how we can help.
Boulder Workers’ Compensation and Permanent Disability
Under Colorado law, disability benefits are provided both for workers who are partially disabled and for those who are fully disabled. Partially disabled means that there are restrictions imposed on the worker as far as what jobs and tasks he can do. He may be able to work, but he may not be able to hold the job he had prior or he may have restrictions on the time worked or type of work performed. Total disability, on the other hand, means that the worker is not able to work at all.
A worker may experience either temporary total or partial disability or permanent total or partial disability. Temporary disability benefits are equal to 2/3 of lost wages if the worker is totally disabled or equal to 66 2/3 percent of the difference between the money the worker can make on restricted duty and the money the worker was making at the time of the injury. Temporary benefits continue only until the worker has reached maximum medical improvement; until the worker is fired for cause; or until the worker is back working for his/her employer and making the same and enjoying the same benefits as prior to the same injury (even if the worker is no longer in the same job).
If a worker has reached maximum medical improvement, he is no longer able to collect temporary disability benefits. A worker who cannot work at all, however, can still receive permanent total disability benefits. These benefits are paid at a rate of 2/3 of the worker’s wages as determined over the course of his lifetime. A worker who can work but who can work at a reduced level is also paid permanent partial disability benefits based on the disability rating determined using the American Medical Association’s The Guides to Evaluating Permanent Impairment.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are often reluctant to agree to pay permanent disability benefits. There may be disputes over your disability rating, over whether you are totally disabled, and over whether you have actually reached maximum medical improvement. Because of the reluctance on the part of workers’ compensation insurers to pay these benefits, it is common for permanently disabled workers to need to go before an administrative law judge to declare them permanently disabled and to determine their benefits.
The Dominick Law Firm can help you to get the permanently disability benefits you deserve. Our Boulder workers’ compensation attorneys have assisted clients with lost wages claims throughout Boulder, Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, Erie, Broomfield, Greeley, Ft. Collins, Superior, Denver and the entire Colorado front range. If you live in this area and need assistance with your permanent disability claim, contact us today at (303) 447-2644 or using our online form for a free consultation to learn how we can help.