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Larimer County wrongful death attorney workplace accident

Each year in Colorado, thousands of people are injured or fall ill due to work-related incidents, entitling them to relief through their employer’s workers’ compensation coverage. However, over 100 Coloradans die each year as a result of their work-related injuries, and many of them leave behind families who may struggle to get by after the death of their loved ones. Fortunately, these families can often obtain financial compensation through a wrongful death claim.

When Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado?

An employee can file a workers’ compensation claim when he or she has been injured on the job in the course of work, and the employee’s family members can file a wrongful death claim in a similar situation if the injuries lead to the employee’s death. The employee’s widow or widower has the first right to file a wrongful death suit within the first year after the death, and children and designated beneficiaries of the deceased can join the suit with the spouse’s consent. After the first year, children and other heirs can choose to file a suit without the spouse, and parents may file a suit if the employee has no designated heirs. In general, all wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within the two-year statute of limitations.

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Larimer County workplace injury attorney heatstroke

Summer is often regarded as the time of year when construction projects peak. Regardless of the type of project, orange barrels and caution cones will be a common sight across the country for the next several months. Although summertime may see many construction projects undertaken in earnest, it is also a time when outdoor workers and laborers face increased risks due to heat-related illnesses. According to Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) magazine, “Productivity decreases by about one percent for every degree the temperature rises above 77 degrees Fahrenheit.” In sweltering 90 degree days, this can lead to substantial reductions in productivity, but also serious heat-related injuries for workers. In Colorado, most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in the event of a workplace accident. 

What Is Heat Stress?

Extended periods of time in a hot and sunny environment can lead to serious heat-related injuries, which may be exacerbated by heavy gear and equipment, manual labor, lack of airflow, lack of water, and more. Heat-related injuries can range from heat rash to the possibly lethal heatstroke, or sunstroke as it is sometimes called. Between these two lies a variety of other potentially dangerous conditions, and somewhere in the middle of the spectrum lies “heat stress.” Although heat stress itself is an umbrella term for several heat-related injuries, heat stress injuries share many symptoms. 

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Larimer County workers compensation attorney disability

Although Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ “Stay At Home” order officially expired on April 26, many counties and cities in the state have continued to observe restrictions on business in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus. For many Coloradoans, the return to normalcy will be a much longer time in coming as the Colorado Public Radio reports the COVID-19 pandemic “has erased one in 10 jobs in Colorado.” As heavily affected industries—such as restaurants, construction, and public works—begin to operate again and resume their projects, it may be more important than ever to be vigilant about safety. Workplace accidents occur even in the best of times and to the most cautious of employees. As a number of employees begin to return to work and employee density around construction sites, high-pace workplaces, and hazardous areas increases, accidents can occur. Therefore, it is important to understand disability and how it relates to workers’ compensation claims.

The Four Categories of Disabilities in Colorado

When dealing with the possibility of lost time or wages due to a workplace injury, it is imperative to remember not all injuries and their resulting disabilities are equal. The State of Colorado Department of Labor and Employment recognizes this and has defined four categories of disability under which injured workers can make claims. They are temporary or permanent, and partial or total disability as explained below:

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Larimer County workplace injury attorney

Every job comes with certain risks, and some occupations can be more dangerous than others. If you suffer a workplace injury in any type of industry, the consequences can be devastating. It is imperative that you seek proper medical attention quickly. However, Colorado has a specific timeline and method that employers and workers must follow regarding the choice of a medical provider. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can play a key role in this process, as they will be able to help you navigate the law and ensure that you receive the benefits that you deserve.

Selecting a Medical Practitioner

Colorado law dictates that either an employer or his or her workers’ compensation insurance company has the right to choose a designated medical provider. In most cases, a victim of a workplace injury must be given a list of at least four physicians or corporate medical providers to choose from if available. This is to prevent a victim from not having any say in the matter. To ensure that the selections are at least somewhat diverse, one of the doctors on the list must have distinct ownership. This means that an employer cannot just present a list of providers who are under shared ownership and at the same location.

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Larimer County workers compensation attorney overexertion

A workplace accident can occur even when proper protocol is followed. Whether you work in a physically taxing job such as construction, or you are in an office setting, it is important to understand the protection that you have under workers’ compensation laws. In general, all companies in Colorado are required to carry workman’s comp insurance to cover their employees in the event of an accident. Some injuries are relatively minor, while others can result in permanent disability or even death. If you were hurt while performing your job, you may need significant rehabilitation, or you may be unable to continue working at your full potential. That is why it is imperative that you consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to learn your options regarding benefits. 

What Is “Overexertion”?

You do not need to suffer from a severe injury like a broken bone to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. A large percentage of the workers’ comp claims in this country are filed under overexertion, which occurs when a person feels acute pain either from repetitively using the same muscle or from pushing their body past its limits. Some cases of overexertion, like frequently lifting of heavy objects resulting in severe back pain, are obvious, while others are much more subtle. For example, if you believe that your job leaves you chronically fatigued, and you injured yourself because of that, you could claim that you suffered from overexertion. The subtlety involved in many of these potential claims might be contested by your employer’s insurance company, which is why it is essential to have legal representation when making a workers' comp claim. 

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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