If the injury is life- or limb-threatening, then go to the nearest hospital emergency room. A life- or limb-threatening injury is an injury where medical attention is needed immediately to prevent either your death or permanent damage to your body. As soon as you are out of danger, you should notify your supervisor in writing of the injury.
Other injuries should be reported to your employer before you seek medical care. Any injury, no matter how minor, should be reported to your employer. By Colorado law, you must notify your employer in writing of your injury within four days or you may receive a reduction to your workers’ compensation benefits. The law states even if you have talked to your employer about the injury, every day after the first four days you delay in reporting the injury in writing will result in the loss of a day’s worth of workers’ compensation benefits. Our Denver and Colorado Springs workers’ compensation lawyers recommend you report the accident/injury as soon as possible.
After a work-related injury has occurred, be as cooperative with your employer as possible. Light duty is work that is less physically demanding than the tasks you were performing prior to being injured. If you are offered light duty, you are required to take it, and you are eligible to be compensated for part of your lost wages if the new duties come with a lower salary. In 1999, the state of Colorado passed a law stating if you are “responsible” for losing your job after a work-related injury, then you are no longer entitled to lost wage benefits. If you are fired or if you quit your job — even if you have already been awarded workers’ compensation benefits — then you will lose your lost wage benefits. As a consequence, many employers will fire an employee after an injury has occurred for something as minor as having a bad attitude or being late for work, just to lower the insurance costs they will have to pay for your injury. Be especially careful to follow all of your employer’s rules and regulations following an injury. Keep in close contact with the Denver and Colorado Springs workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Cliff Enten in case you run into trouble.