Workers’ Compensation History

gavel-bookThe Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act was passed in 1915. Before the law was passed, a person who was injured on the job was required to sue the employer in court in order to recover. This process often took extended periods of time, sometimes even years. What’s worse, in order to recover any benefits or medical care, the injured worker had to prove negligence on the part of the employer. In other words, the worker had to prove that the employer did something wrong, and that the employer was at fault. Obviously, this put the injured worker in a very difficult position, since the worker was not able to get any lost wage benefits or medical benefits until the case came to trial, months and even years after the injury.

Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act

The Workers’ Compensation Act which was passed in 1915 changed all of that, and workers’ compensation became a “no fault” system. That is the system we have today. What this means is that once the injured worker proves that he was hurt on the job, he is generally entitled to benefits. It is not necessary for the injured worker to prove that the employer was negligent, or that the employer was at fault. If the injury happened while the worker was on the job, it is not a defense for the employer to say that he was not negligent, or that he was not at fault. It simply does not matter.

Likewise, if a worker is injured at work, he may get benefits even if he was negligent or at fault. If the worker was hurt due to his own negligence or carelessness, he may still recover. In other words, whether the employer or the worker was careful or negligent does not matter. If the injury occurred while the worker was on the job, there is usually coverage for the injury.

This change to a “no fault” system was very important for the injured worker, and it is one of the few changes made in the law that benefits the injured worker.

Related Resources