Dealing with workplace accidents is always stressful. You do not want to feel endangered in your place of work, and you certainly do not want to miss out on a day’s wages either. Fortunately, in the state of Colorado, any workers hurt on the job are legally entitled to the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation claims can be incredibly helpful to get back on your feet. Unfortunately, they are not always easily resolved.
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, do not give up. There are still other options available to you. You can choose to appeal your workers’ compensation claim decision—all the way up to the Colorado Supreme Court. It can be difficult to successfully navigate a workers’ compensation case without a full and comprehensive knowledge of the law. Our experienced attorneys at Injury Victim Law may be able to help.
In the state of Colorado, filing a Petition to Review is the first step in the appeals process. Should you choose to file a Petition to Review, you must do so within 20 days of the date that the order with the initial decision on your claim was mailed to you. You should also receive detailed instructions on how to file with the form that is mailed to you. You may lose your right to appeal if you do not take care to follow all the instructions provided to you.
You can obtain a copy of the petition form from the Office of Administrative Courts, or you can simply find it online. In any case, you must complete and mail a copy to the location listed on your order. You are also required to send a copy to your employer’s insurance company. Furthermore, you must submit transcripts of your original workers’ compensation hearing with your Petition to Review. You may find it helpful to file both a Petition to Review and a Transcript Request form simultaneously.
Once you have submitted your Petition to Review, you must begin preparing your brief. If you are unfamiliar with what a legal brief is, not to worry. It is simply a compilation of the written legal arguments you plan to use to argue the administrative law judge’s decision. Your brief should also include your written arguments for receiving workers’ compensation.
You will have a maximum of 20 days to file your brief, and the courts will send you a letter stating an exact deadline. The other party will also have 20 days to prepare a brief, and these 20 days will start from the date on the certificate of mailing your brief. It can be difficult to parse through legal jargon all on your own. An experienced Colorado workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help you draft the perfect brief in a timely manner—all while ensuring that you are adhering to any relevant procedural rules.
Both parties’ briefs will then be reviewed by an administrative law judge, who will carefully consider each side before making a final decision. The judge will have a maximum of 30 days within receiving the last brief to make their decision. If the judge does not make a decision in time, the case can then proceed to the Industrial Claim Appeals Panel. The Panel will then have 60 days from the date of receipt to make their decision.
It is important to note that the Industrial Claim Appeals Panel does not conduct hearings. This means that neither side will be given the opportunity to appear in front of the Panel to argue their respective cases. Rather, the Panel will work solely off the briefs presented to them in order to come to the best possible decision. Once the decision has been made, a copy will be made to all involved parties. If the Panel cannot come to a decision within 60 days of receiving the case, the claim can then proceed to the Colorado Court of Appeals.
Not only does the Colorado Court of Appeals see the cases that the Industrial Claim Appeals Panel does not but they will also hear any petitions that disagree with the Panel’s decision. However, you should keep in mind that any appeals taken to the Colorado Court of Appeals cannot include any new evidence, documents, and/or facts that were not in the initial brief presented to the administrative law judge.
The Court of Appeals presides by its own specific procedures and has specific forms that you must complete when appealing a workers’ compensation decision. This process can be long, grueling, and perplexing. Procuring a competent Colorado workers’ compensation lawyer can help offset this.
If you still want to appeal your workers’ compensation decision after taking your case to the Court of Appeals, you have one more option left. You can go ahead and file an appeal with the Colorado Supreme Court. However, it is important to keep in mind that this is the highest court in the state—meaning that it can choose the cases it takes at will. There is no guarantee that your appeal case will be heard at all. Teaming up with a hardworking Colorado workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help you resolve your workers’ compensation appeal before you get to this point.
If you or a loved one were recently injured in a workplace accident, we at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country. You should never have to pay for someone else’s mistakes or negligence. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced nationwide workers’ compensation attorneys. We have helped countless clients resolve their workers’ compensation cases successfully. We can help you, too. Let us fight for you and get you the compensation you rightfully deserve.