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Can I still Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits if the Accident was my Fault?

No-Fault System

Colorado worker’s compensation is a “no-fault” system. This means that when a Colorado employee gets injured on the job and properly files a workers’ compensation claim, they may receive benefits despite who was at fault for the injury.

In a typical injury lawsuit, the plaintiff files a complaint against the defendant. The plaintiff must then prove that the defendant was somehow at fault for the injury. In a Colorado workers’ compensation case, the injured does not need to prove who was at fault. If the injury happened at work, the employer must cover the accident through their workers’ compensation insurance policy.

In exchange for receiving compensation under the no-fault system, the injured worker cannot sue the employer under a traditional injury lawsuit. The exclusive remedy against the employer is through the workers’ compensation system (with some exceptions).

The policy behind having a no-fault system is that despite who is at fault, workers are to quickly receive medical care and benefits. At the same time, employers are not subjected to negligence lawsuits in civil court.

Reduction of Lost Wages

While the no-fault system assures the injured will receive medical benefits, other benefits such as lost wages may be reduced under limited circumstances.  Some of these limited circumstances are:

  1. When an employee fails to use the safety equipment provided by the employer.
  2. When an employee willfully fails to obey a reasonable rule adopted by the employer for the safety of the employee.
  3. When an employee willfully misleads the employer concerning the employee’s physical ability to perform a job.
  4. When an employee is injured while certain unprescribed controlled substance(s) were in their blood system. Controlled substances include cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, and other substances defined by Colorado law.

To ensure the maximum amount of workers’ compensation benefits are paid, contact the attorneys at Burnham Law. The attorneys at Burnham Law understand the complexities and hurdles of a workers’ compensation case. Burnham law’s goal is to get the injured worker the maximum benefit allowed by law.

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