If you suffered a work injury in Colorado, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit in addition to receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, you may not sue your employer for any damages related to your work injury.
Colorado Workers’ Compensation system is no-fault insurance coverage. It is a worker’s exclusive remedy for injuries incurred on the job.
The following offers a brief explanation of how the Colorado Workers’ Compensation differs from a fault-based personal injury lawsuit. It then discusses when a personal injury lawsuit may apply to your situation.
For specific claim information and a case review, contact a Denver workplace injury attorney.
Colorado Workers’ Compensation Benefits Apply Regardless of Fault
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to injured employees regardless of accident fault. In exchange for this no-fault system, employers are protected from civil lawsuits.
To prove a workers’ compensation an employee must show the following:
- The employer has workers’ compensation insurance;
- The injury occurred while on-the-job; and
- The injury is covered under the workers’ compensation statute.
To receive workers’ compensation in Colorado, qualified employees must notify their employers of their injury or illness within ten working days in writing. Then, they must file a Workers’ Compensation Claim for benefits within the two-year statutory deadline.
Personal Injury Lawsuits are Fault-Based
Personal injury lawsuits are fault-based. This means that negligence must be proven for an accident victim to receive compensation.
Negligence requires proving the following:
- The other party owed the worker a duty of care;
- The other party breached that duty of care;
- That breach in duty of care caused the worker’s injury; and
- The worker suffered damages as a result.
In Colorado, an employee may sue a third party for an injury incurred while at work. A third party is a non-employer who is responsible for a worker’s injuries.
An example of a third party would be another driver who causes a car crash and injures a worker while they are driving on the job. Under these circumstances, a worker could have both a personal injury case and a workers’ compensation claim.
Why File Both a Workers’ Compensation Claim and a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit allows an injured worker access to additional damages for their medical bills and lost earnings. Personal injury lawsuits also have a wider range of damages available to accident victims.
Personal injury claims may include any of the following compensation and more:
- Current and future medical costs;
- Lost earnings;
- Loss of earning potential;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental and emotional trauma;
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Loss of consortium.
It is important to note that any monies paid out for medical care by the workers’ compensation carrier will need to be reimbursed at the end of a successful personal injury case.
How Do I Know If I Have a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Addition to My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The best way to know if you have a personal injury lawsuit in addition to your workers’ compensation claim for benefits is to speak with an experienced Denver work injury attorney. Most work injury attorneys offer complimentary initial case reviews.
Contact an Experienced Denver Work Injury Attorney Today
If you think you qualify for a personal injury lawsuit in addition to your workers’ compensation claim, contact an experienced attorney at Kane Dulin McQuinn Young. One of our work injury attorneys will review your situation at no cost and offer valuable advice regarding your next best steps toward compensation.
Even if you do not have a personal injury case, the attorneys at Kane Dulin McQuinn Young can help you receive the maximum compensation available for your workers’ compensation claim. Call Kane Dulin McQuinn in Denver now to set up your no-risk appointment!