Workplace Accidents

Workplace accidents are unfortunately common. From 2001 to 2013, there was an average of about 28,000 non-fatal work injuries in Colorado each year.[1] Workplace accidents can temporarily or permanently affect the worker’s quality of life and ability to work. They can cause amputations, disability, and even death. 

Worker’s Compensation in Colorado

In Colorado, worker’s compensation covers almost all employees, both part-time and full-time. Workers are entitled to it no matter how the injury was caused, even if the injury was the employee’s own fault. Worker’s compensation helps to cover losses workers incur because of injuries but without filing a lawsuit.

Worker’s compensation is monetary compensation for specific types of losses. It will cover a percentage of lost pay, depending on the severity of the injury until a doctor clears the worker to resume working. Then, the worker is entitled to a lump-sum payment based on what body part(s) is/are injured and how severely. It doesn’t cover damages like pain and suffering.

New Injury or New Pain From an Old Injury? 

Worker’s compensation claims cover injuries caused or aggravated by workplace accidents. It doesn’t matter that the original injury occurred elsewhere or at a different time.

Can a Worker Sue Their Employer?

Worker’s compensation almost completely replaces this right. In Colorado, an employer must have and maintain insurance to cover worker’s compensation claims. However, an employee can sue an employer who has no worker’s compensation insurance or if the insurance won’t adequately cover the costs of the injuries.

A worker can sue their employer, however, if the employer or another employee hurt them intentionally and caused the injury. In this case, the injury is not an accident.

Can an Employer Fire an Employee for Filing for Worker’s Compensation?

No. Employers can’t punish or retaliate against workers for filing a worker’s compensation claim, nor can they interfere with or try to talk an employee out of filing a claim.[2] An employee can sue an employer if the employer retaliates for filing a claim. 

What If It’s the Equipment, Tools, or Chemicals That Caused the Injury? 

The worker may have a claim for product liability against the maker of the equipment or tool that hurt them. Manufacturers may not sell or make available unsafe products. A personal injury lawyer can represent a worker in a lawsuit against the manufacturer of a dangerous product that injured the worker.

While injured workers cannot sue their employer, they may still be able to make a claim against another party, who caused or contributed to their accident or injury, which can include not only a manufacturer, but also a general contractor or subcontractor.  

How Does an Injured Worker Get Worker’s Compensation?

The first thing any injured worker should do is retain a lawyer to file a claim with the Colorado state worker’s compensation board. Worker’s compensation is not a legal claim like a lawsuit. However, any injured worker increases the likelihood of filing a successful claim if they hire a lawyer to represent them. A lawyer specializing in worker’s compensation knows the complex laws involved, how to file a claim, calculate benefits, and which benefits to ask for to ensure maximum coverage.

If you sustained a job-related injury and need to know what to do next, call 303-393-6666 to speak to one of our lawyers and find out what options you have to recover your losses.

[1] See Colorado Departmnt of Public Health and Environment. WORKPLACE SAFETY SURVEILLANCE REPORTS. Indicator 1: Non-Fatal Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3n_YMkox1lDbkxTNVppTVpRLVU/view

[2] Martin Marietta Corp. v. Lorenz, 823 P.2d 100, 108 (Colo. 1992)

Testimonials

“I had an excellent experience at Kidneigh and Kaufman. I was in an auto accident and had severe injuries. Kidneigh and Kaufman helped me get the medical treatment I needed, as well as a wonderful settlement with the insurance company. Everyone at Kidneigh and Kaufman was very caring and understanding of my situation, and especially supportive when my husband passed away during the case. Attorney Charlie Crichton was particularly wonderful and I would give him and the Kidneigh and Kaufman firm 5+ stars.”

Grace Collier - Former Client

“After I was injured in a serious auto accident, I was in a lot of pain and didn’t know what to do. Having been involved in her own accident several years earlier and hired Kidneigh & Kaufman to help her, my girlfriend told me I needed to speak with attorney Jennifer Crichton. I’m so glad I did. I had a great experience with Kidneigh & Kaufman and Jenny was there by my side all the way. Kidneigh & Kaufman is definitely a 5 star law firm. I certainly got my money’s worth by going to Kidneigh & Kaufman.”

Joel Fisher - Former Client

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The K&K Difference

  • Over 30 Years in Business

    For over 30 years, Kidneigh & Kaufman has been dedicated to helping personal injury victims, which means we have a proven track record of success.

  • We Only Represent Personal Injury Victims

    Kidneigh & Kaufman only represents injured victims, never insurance companies or corporations. For over 30 years, we have been wholly devoted to helping individuals.

  • Trial Experience

    In 1982, Steve Kaufman had the honor of trying the first Toxic Shock Syndrome case to go to trial in the country against Procter & Gamble and its Rely tampon, obtaining a verdict in favor of a teenage girl who had almost died. Since then, Kidneigh & Kaufman has taken on corporations and insurance companies in courtrooms throughout Colorado as well as the Colorado Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court, and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. All told, the attorneys at Kidneigh & Kaufman have tried nearly 100 cases to verdict.

  • We Only Get Paid if You Get Paid

    Kidneigh & Kaufman handles all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid. We will never ask you for a retainer and you never have to worry about us sending you a bill for our time. You can rest assured knowing that we will do everything to obtain fair compensation since we only get paid when you do.

  • Committed to Our Clients

    Kidneigh & Kaufman is totally devoted to its client. We get back to all clients within 24 hours and our attorneys can even be available by cell phone on nights and weekends when necessary. If you ever want to know what's going on with your case, feel free to just give us a call, send us an email, or text us. We are always available for our clients.

  • We Handle It All

    Kidneigh & Kaufman handles all aspects of your personal injury claim. If you are in a car accident, we can help you with your property damage and medical payments coverage at no additional charge to you. Not only we will negotiate a settlement, but we will also help you with your medical bills and health insurance as part of our representation of you.

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Firm Overview

What to Expect for Your Case

You Are Involved in an Accident

You are stopped at a red light, waiting for the light to change and you get rear-ended.

You are walking toward the deli counter at the grocery store, and you slip and fall in the beverage aisle.

Your insurance company denies your claim for the hail damage from the storm in your neighborhood.

What do you do when an accident happens? First, check to see if you are injured. If you are injured, be sure to seek immediate medical attention. You also want to be sure to document everything. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, then be sure to take photos, obtain the other driver’s insurance information, and contact the police. If you slip and fall at a grocery store, make sure you complete an incident report, obtain witness information, and take photos. If you have a dispute with your insurance company, make sure you document all of your correspondence and communication.

Contact An Attorney

Be sure to contact an attorney about your accident as soon as possible following your accident.

An attorney can help guide you through the process of making a claim with an insurance company, which is an unfamiliar process for most people. An attorney can makes sure that the correct parties and entities are notified and that your accident and injuries are well documented. Not only can an attorney help you with this process, but hiring an attorney gives you the peace of mind knowing that things are being done the right way.

Accept a Settlement or Proceed to Litigation

Does it make sense to accept a settlement or file a lawsuit?

You have completed your medical treatment and your attorney has submitted a demand to the insurance company. At this time, the insurance company may be willing to make a settlement offer to resolve the case. Your attorney will help you decide whether to accept a settlement or proceed with a lawsuit against the opposing party.

Litigation

You filed a lawsuit against the opposing party so what happens now?

When you file a lawsuit against another party, then the litigation process begins. The insurance company will likely hire a well-qualified attorney to represent its Defendant and the case will be assigned to a judge and courtroom. Attorneys will send written discovery, obtain documents, and take depositions. The attorneys are doing everything they can to prepare the case for trial and to find out more about the other side’s case. The parties may still try to resolve the case either informally or with a mediator.

Trial

What happens in a trial?

The parties are unable to resolve the case so they go to trial. The attorneys and the judge pick a jury to decide the case. Then each attorney makes an opening statement. Next, the injured party’s attorney presents his case, which usually includes testimony from the injured party, any witnesses, medical providers, and hired experts. Then the Defendant’s attorney has the opportunity to present his case and call his own witnesses and present his own evidence. After jury instructions, each side makes a closing argument, trying to convince the jury to find for their side. Finally, the jury must agree on a verdict.

  • 1You Are Involved in an Accident

    You Are Involved in an Accident

    You are stopped at a red light, waiting for the light to change and you get rear-ended.

    You are walking toward the deli counter at the grocery store, and you slip and fall in the beverage aisle.

    Your insurance company denies your claim for the hail damage from the storm in your neighborhood.

    What do you do when an accident happens? First, check to see if you are injured. If you are injured, be sure to seek immediate medical attention. You also want to be sure to document everything. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, then be sure to take photos, obtain the other driver’s insurance information, and contact the police. If you slip and fall at a grocery store, make sure you complete an incident report, obtain witness information, and take photos. If you have a dispute with your insurance company, make sure you document all of your correspondence and communication.

  • 2Contact An Attorney

    Contact An Attorney

    Be sure to contact an attorney about your accident as soon as possible following your accident.

    An attorney can help guide you through the process of making a claim with an insurance company, which is an unfamiliar process for most people. An attorney can makes sure that the correct parties and entities are notified and that your accident and injuries are well documented. Not only can an attorney help you with this process, but hiring an attorney gives you the peace of mind knowing that things are being done the right way.

  • 3Accept a Settlement or Proceed to Litigation

    Accept a Settlement or Proceed to Litigation

    Does it make sense to accept a settlement or file a lawsuit?

    You have completed your medical treatment and your attorney has submitted a demand to the insurance company. At this time, the insurance company may be willing to make a settlement offer to resolve the case. Your attorney will help you decide whether to accept a settlement or proceed with a lawsuit against the opposing party.

  • 4Litigation

    Litigation

    You filed a lawsuit against the opposing party so what happens now?

    When you file a lawsuit against another party, then the litigation process begins. The insurance company will likely hire a well-qualified attorney to represent its Defendant and the case will be assigned to a judge and courtroom. Attorneys will send written discovery, obtain documents, and take depositions. The attorneys are doing everything they can to prepare the case for trial and to find out more about the other side’s case. The parties may still try to resolve the case either informally or with a mediator.

  • 5Trial

    Trial

    What happens in a trial?

    The parties are unable to resolve the case so they go to trial. The attorneys and the judge pick a jury to decide the case. Then each attorney makes an opening statement. Next, the injured party’s attorney presents his case, which usually includes testimony from the injured party, any witnesses, medical providers, and hired experts. Then the Defendant’s attorney has the opportunity to present his case and call his own witnesses and present his own evidence. After jury instructions, each side makes a closing argument, trying to convince the jury to find for their side. Finally, the jury must agree on a verdict.