Laws Protecting You Against Negligent Employers in Colorado
The Colorado government has laws in place that protect the state’s hard-working employees. As a worker in The Centennial State, you have a plethora of rights and protections under several different systems. The workers’ compensation program provides automatic benefits if you sustain injuries on the job. The civil justice system allows you to sue your employer and/or other parties if negligence caused your injuries. There are many state, federal, and local parties looking out for your best interests as an employee. Learn how the law is on your side.
Colorado Workers’ Compensation System
The Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act provides an exclusive remedy to employees. It is a mutual agreement between employees and employers. The employee can receive necessary medical treatment and a portion of lost wages after work-related injuries, no questions asked, as long as the employee agrees to give up his or her right to sue the employer. Almost every employer in Colorado must carry workers’ compensation insurance, to provide this benefit to employees should an on-the-job accident occur. The employer cannot deduct the cost of this insurance from employees’ wages.
If you file a workers’ compensation claim, you cannot sue your employer. You can, however, sue a coworker, product manufacturer, or other third party. The law allows you to potentially recover through both workers’ compensation insurance and a personal injury claim if a third party caused your accident. Consider all of your options before filing a workers’ comp claim in Colorado. If your employer was the negligent party, a personal injury lawsuit may be in your best interest.
Employer Responsibilities to Employees
According to the law, employers must maintain a safe working environment for employees at all times. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal body that enforces strict safety codes that all employers must obey. Any violation of an OSHA or other standard could result in severe fines, penalties, and even criminal charges if an employee sustains an injury because of the violated rule. Employees have the right to report safety violations without fear of retaliation.
As soon as an employee reports a workplace injury, the employer has a duty to promptly provide medical treatment. The employer must allow the employee to visit the nearest medical facility for treatment. The employer must provide a list of approved healthcare providers to the injured party within seven business days. The employer should investigate the accident and notify the insurance company of any injuries within 10 days. If an employer fails in any of these duties after a workplace injury, the injured party could potentially sue for negligence.
If you have reason to believe your employer has been negligent in any shape and form relating to your recent workplace injury, talk to an attorney. This includes if your employer failed to maintain a safe work environment, to properly train employees, to provide proper safety equipment, to have workers’ compensation insurance, or to handle your injury claim in accordance with the law. These acts of negligence could provide grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, or a wrongful death claim if a loved one died on the job because of an employer’s negligence. Speak to a work injury lawyer in Denver for more information.