When a worker suffers an injury at work, he is not able to sue his employer to receive compensation. Instead, he may make a claim under the Colorado workers’ compensation program. The rules for workers’ compensation and the benefits available are outlined in Article 41 of the Colorado code. According to the relevant code section, when a worker suffers from a permanent impairment as a result of a work-related injury, he is entitled to payment to compensate him for the injury.
The payment that a worker is entitled to for a permanent injury is determined by either an extremity rating or a whole person rating. A whole person rating is used when the worker suffers an injury that affects the whole body, which means the injuries are normally very serious and/or have a significant impact on the worker’s ability to work or quality of life. Getting the full amount of benefits available is essential in these situations and the Boulder workers’ compensation lawyers at The Dominick Law Firm can help. Residents of Boulder, Thornton, Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, Erie, Broomfield, Lyons, Mead, Loveland, Wheatridge, Greeley, Ft. Collins, Superior, Denver and the entire Colorado front range should contact us today at (303) 447-2644 or using our online form for a free consultation to learn what we can do for you.
Colorado Workers’ Compensation Laws and Whole Person Ratings
After a work injury, a worker receives temporary disability benefits if he/she is unable to work. The worker receives these benefits while undergoing medical care, which is also paid for by the workers compensation insurer.
Once the employee’s health has improved as much as possible and he/she is no longer going to get any better, the temporary disability benefits stop and the worker will either go back to work for full pay or will receive permanent partial or total disability benefits if there is an ongoing injury. The term maximum medical improvement, or MMI is used to refer to a situation where a worker has improved as much as he is going to.
When a worker has reached MMI but is not fully better, the worker is entitled to compensation to make up for the fact that he now has an ongoing medical problem due to his work-injury. The amount of compensation due is determined based on his disability rating.
There are two types of disability ratings. For certain medical problems that affect only a limited body part, such as a lost limb, there is a schedule of compensation provided in 8-42-107. Specific injuries are listed here, such as the loss of an arm at the shoulder, which will result in the worker being paid compensation equal to 208 weeks of benefits.
Some injuries or impairments, however, don’t just affect a specific part of the body- they affect the body as a whole. When you suffer form this type of injury, a whole person rating is used.
The authorized treating physician who is providing your medical care will determine your whole person rating. The rating is determined according to the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment and is then used along with your age factor and wage rate to determine what benefits you will receive.
Your whole person rating is a significant determining factor in the amount of benefits you collect under Colorado workers’ compensation law, so if you do not agree with the rating you are given, it is very important to take legal action. The Dominick Law Firm can help you to better understand your rights related to your whole person rating and can help you to take action to get the maximum possible benefits available under workers compensation law. If you live in Boulder, Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, Erie, Broomfield, Greeley, Ft. Collins, Superior, Denver and the entire Colorado front range, contact us today at (303) 447-2644 or using our online form for a free consultation to learn how we can help.