Can I See My Own Doctor for a Work Injury in Colorado?

Can I See My Own Doctor for a Work Injury in Colorado?

Can I See My Own Doctor for a Work Injury in Colorado?

If you experience a work injury, like a slip and fall, Colorado law requires you to report the accident to your employer. Colorado law allows you to see any doctor for treatment of a work injury; however, some guidelines might impact your decision. Below, you will find some things worth knowing about which doctors can treat your workplace injuries in Colorado.

If you have suffered a work injury, you should consider speaking to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, such as our lawyers at Mintz Law Firm. A workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help you recover compensation for your injury.

What Doctor Can See Me for a Workplace Injury in Colorado?

According to Colorado law, your employer can select a doctor to treat injured employees. Sometimes, an employer selects one doctor. In other cases, there might be a list of approved doctors. The employer can choose any doctor at all times. It does not matter whether the injury is minor or serious. If you are injured, you should always ask your employer how they have chosen to treat you. Some companies will list the doctor in the employee handbook. Your employer does not have to supply anything above and beyond what is required by Colorado law.

Some employers do not specify a doctor. In this case, you can choose your doctor for workers’ compensation purposes. Discuss your specific injury and needs with your company’s HR representative to obtain more information on their policies.

Choosing Your Doctor for a Work Injury in Colorado

Colorado law does not allow you to see your own doctor when you are injured on the job, but there is an exception to this general rule. You can choose your doctor if they are on the list of providers from your employer or if your employer does not specify which doctors you can see. If you choose to receive medical care from your provider and an exception to the general rule does not apply, it is possible that your employer can deny the payment of your expenses.

If you think you need to see a specialist for a work injury, Colorado law may require that the company approve that treatment. Your employer may need to authorize an examination by a specialist hospital or doctor if they do not want to pay for the injury. If you feel your treatment is not adequate, discuss it with your manager and HR representative. 

Never hesitate to ask your employer questions about how they handle workers’ compensation claims. They should provide you with all the required information. If you are not receiving the required information about your claim, your manager or HR representative should be able to answer any questions that you have. It’s also important to contact an experienced Colorado workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you are staying on top of everything you need to do for proper compensation and treatment.

Your Right to a Second Opinion on Medical Care in Colorado

In Colorado, when you find yourself disagreeing with the doctor appointed by your employer, state law grants you the right to seek a second opinion. This process involves a Division Independent Medical Evaluator (DIME), a doctor mutually agreed upon by you, your employer, and the insurance company. However, selecting a DIME isn’t a simple task and often requires negotiation. This is where the expertise of an attorney can prove invaluable, guiding you through the complexities of the workers’ compensation system.

While the legal process unfolds, it’s essential to communicate openly with any medical provider you consult. Discussing every symptom you experience ensures that your medical professional has a comprehensive understanding of your condition. At Mintz Law Firm, our Colorado workers’ compensation attorneys understand the challenges associated with workplace injuries and the importance of receiving proper medical attention. If you have concerns about the care you’re receiving, our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers are here to provide guidance and support. 

What You Need to Know About Colorado Workers’ Compensation

Suffering an injury while on the job can be a challenging and overwhelming experience, with missed workdays, lost wages, and mounting medical bills. Fortunately, Colorado provides workers’ compensation benefits to support individuals and their families during such trying times. Understanding the basic requirements for eligibility is crucial:

  • Employer’s Insurance Coverage: To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Colorado, your employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This requirement extends to both private and public employers, with a few exceptions, such as certain domestic and farm workers. 
  • Verified Employee Status: Workers’ compensation benefits are designed for individuals classified as employees. Colorado broadly defines an employee as someone “hired to perform services for pay.” While most employees fall under this umbrella, exceptions include independent contractors and volunteers. Notably, Colorado extends coverage to volunteer firefighters and those volunteering for search and rescue parties.
  • Work-Related Injury or Illness: Eligibility hinges on the direct relationship between your injury or illness and your work for the employer. While this may seem straightforward, certain situations, such as injuries during lunch breaks or company events, can lead to disputes. 

At Mintz Law Firm, we recognize the complexities of workers’ compensation claims and the impact they have on individuals and families. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are here to guide you through the process, ensuring you receive the support and benefits you deserve. 

Colorado Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Whether you’ve sustained a work-related injury or are suffering from a work-related illness, you are entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim to receive fair benefits. Navigating the complexities of workers’ compensation benefits can be challenging, and Mintz Law Firm is here to help. Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers provide personalized assistance to ensure you receive the support and benefits you deserve.

Medical Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation

When injured on the job in Colorado, you’re entitled to comprehensive medical benefits, covering a range of treatments without any financial obligation. The definition of these benefits is broad, ensuring even unexpected medical needs related to your work injury are covered, such as treating cancer and preventing necessary back surgery. Importantly, there’s no time limit or monetary cap on these benefits, demonstrating the state’s commitment to your well-being.

Lost Wage & Disability Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation

Facing missed work due to a medical condition is challenging, but Colorado law provides wage loss or disability benefits if your injury prevents you from performing your pre-injury job. The waiting period is three days, and compensation begins if you’re out of work for over two weeks. Categories include Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), Temporary Total Disability (TTD), Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), and Permanent Total Disability (PTD).

Temporary Disability (TPD and TTD) Benefits

If work restrictions hinder your pre-injury employment, you’re eligible for temporary disability benefits, generally two-thirds of your average weekly wage during treatment. TTD benefits are for those completely prevented from working, while TPD benefits apply if you work part-time or in a modified role.

Permanent Disability (PPD and PTD) Benefits

Once you reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), permanent disability benefits may apply. If you can work in some capacity, you’re considered permanently partially disabled, whereas permanent total disability indicates an inability to return to any job. Permanent partial disability benefits are common, acknowledging a permanent condition but allowing you to hold a job.

Colorado places caps on the total combined temporary and permanent disability benefits an injured worker can receive weekly.

Death Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation

In the tragic event of a work-related death, dependents are entitled to death benefits, usually amounting to two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage. Spouses receive benefits for life or until remarriage, and children receive them until they turn 18 (or 21 if they are full-time students). Other dependents may receive benefits if wholly or partially dependent on the deceased.

How a Colorado Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Make a Difference

A Colorado workers’ compensation lawyer can be a crucial ally during this difficult time. Here’s how they make a difference:

  • Navigating the Complex System: Workers’ compensation laws can be complex, and a workers’ compensation attorney specializing in this field understands the ins and outs. They can guide you through the entire process, ensuring you don’t miss any critical steps and are fully informed about your case.
  • Ensuring Fair Compensation: Whether it’s medical benefits, lost wages, or disability benefits, workers’ compensation lawyers will assess your situation, calculate your compensation, and negotiate on your behalf.
  • Dealing with Disputes: Disputes with employers or insurance companies are not uncommon. A skilled lawyer acts as your advocate, handling negotiations and, if necessary, representing you in hearings or court to resolve disputes.
  • Assistance with Second Opinions: If you’re dissatisfied with the medical care provided by your employer’s chosen doctor, a workers’ compensation attorney can help you request a second opinion, ensuring you receive proper care.
  • Protecting Your Interests: Employers and insurance companies may try to minimize payouts, but a workers’ compensation lawyer is there to protect your interests. They understand the tactics used by the other side and can counteract them, ensuring you aren’t taken advantage of.
  • Providing Peace of Mind: Dealing with an on-the-job injury is stressful. Having a lawyer by your side can provide peace of mind. You can focus on your recovery while they handle the legal complexities, ensuring you have the support you need.

If you’ve been injured on the job, Mintz Law Firm’s experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are here to help. Our commitment is to advocate for your rights, navigate the system on your behalf, and secure the compensation you deserve.

Contact a Colorado Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at Mintz Law Firm

Mintz Law Firm has a team of skilled workers’ compensation attorneys with over 30 years of experience helping clients in Colorado. The Colorado legal system can be overwhelming, but our knowledgeable Colorado workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate filing a worker’s compensation claim. 

Our skilled legal team is proud to provide clients with the personalized and award-winning legal counsel they deserve, and we are ready to help you. To schedule a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer, you can contact us here or call (303) 462-2999.

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