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Notifying Your Employer After a Work-Related Injury
After receive a work-related injury or illness, you must notify your employer within a certain amount of time. If you fail to do this, you can be at risk of lowering the amount of workers' comp benefits for which you could be eligible to receive. Furthermore, employers are required to adequately inform their workers about these notification timeframes. These requirements, which are outlined in the Colorado Revised Statutes §8-43-102, are explained further below.
Requirements for Employees—Those who are injured on the job (or while performing work-related duties) have four days from the injury's occurrence to inform their employers in writing about the incident. The employee can end up losing up to one day's worth of compensation for each day that he or she fails to provide proper notification. Managers and others in charge can provide written notice on behalf of an injured employee if he or she is physically or mentally unable to do so personally.
When workers contract occupational diseases (or illnesses or diseases that are caused by one's job), they have 30 days from the "first distinct manifestation" of the medical problem to inform their employers in writing. They can do this personally or have another person carry out this action on their behalf. If a death occurred, notice must be given within 30 days of the death. While failure to provide notification in either of these two situations is usually waived, the failure can lead a reduction in compensation if an objection is made by the employer at a hearing on the claim (before an award or decision is reached).
Requirements for Employers—Employers are required to have printed 11-by-14-inch printed cards prominently placed in the workplace at all times that inform workers of the four-day deadline for reporting workplace injuries. The cards must also let workers knows that any injuries that result from a victim's use of alcohol or controlled substances can lead to compensation disability benefits being lowered by one-half of what the individual would have otherwise received. When employers do not have these warning signs displayed at the time of a workplace injury, the days of compensation that an injured worker lost due to failing to report the incident in time could be credited back to that employee.
It is very important for injury victims to make sure they report their injuries to their employers when they are supposed to so they can increase their chances of receiving maximum benefits under workers' comp. If you have any questions about this process or any other issues related to occupation-related injuries or illnesses, consult with our skilled Loveland workers' comp attorneys at Busch Law Offices. Call us so we can assist you with your case!