What Police Officers Need to Know About Filing Workers’ Comp Cases in Colorado


Police officers have dangerous jobs. Even when they’re not actively involved in potentially life-threatening conflicts, their jobs can be physical, putting them at increased risk for injuries such as sprains, bruises, broken bones, and gunshot wounds.

If you’ve been injured on the job as a police officer, you are eligible for workers’ compensation. It may also be possible to file a separate claim personal injury claim or UM/UIM if you have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage and were hit while in your vehicle. Here’s what you should know.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim as a Police Officer

If you’ve suffered an injury or an occupational condition related to your work as a police officer, you are potentially entitled to different workers’ compensation benefits, including medical coverage, temporary or permanent disability (wage loss) while out of work, and even permanent total and/or long-term disability benefits.

You should not be required to use your own medical insurance coverage for your care, Typically, your employer must identify at least four different providers or clinics to choose from. Even though you probably want to get back to work as soon as possible, it’s important to let your body rest and fully heal before you return to your job. Workers’ compensation can provide the benefits to help you do just that.

To ensure that you obtain compensation, there are certain procedures you must follow. You should notify your employer of the injury as soon as possible.  Don’t wait.  Please note, however, that pre-authorization is not required in truly emergent situations. To do this, file an Employer’s First Report of Injury form. Many employers in Colorado have their own reporting systems set up but all of them must comply with Colorado law.

Claims Related to Underinsured or Uninsured Motorists

Workers’ compensation may not be your only option if you are involved in an accident and are not at fault. Officers involved in crashes while in their vehicles may be able to file insurance claims. Most commonly, they collect workers’ compensation benefits compensation from the insurance coverage provided by their city or county for the squad car. They may also be able to collect compensation from the responsible driver or their own insurance companies when they have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage.

If you are eligible to file a claim related to an underinsured or uninsured motorist and a workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to retain a lawyer who understands both areas of law.

At Keating Wagner Polidori Free, we have experience with a full range of personal injury-related claims, including those involving police officers. We can guide you through your legal options and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Contact an Attorney With Experience Representing Police Officers

To talk with a lawyer at our Denver law firm about your options as an injured police officer, call us at 303-534-0401 or send us a message. Consultations are free and confidential.