Wednesday, December 02, 2015
On November 19th there was another Brown Bag seminar by Prehearing Judge Eley that covered the recent notable cases. While there are no published cases from the appeals courts there were cases at the lower levels which we call ICAP (Industrial Claim Appeals Panel). These cases are the next level up after a hearing decision. They tell us what cases are being appealed. You are urged to listen toBrown Bag seminar for November 2015.
Saturday, October 03, 2015
In September the Division issued another newsletter. Bravo! I certainly enjoy these newsletters and they provide quite a bit of information.This latest newsletter has a great article about Pat Clisham another judge. It is really nice tolatest newsletter?
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
I have noticed that the Colorado Springs hearing offices have changed to a new location. I no longer practice given I am retired but while checking the website I now see the change of location. The previous offices are not that far from the new location but I always felt the old location was a bit cramped. Finding a place to sit down with a claimant to review before a hearing was sometimes difficult. If there were several witnesses it became quite cumbersome. Hopefully the new location is more convenient and spacious. A number of years ago the workers comp hearings were held at the local courthouse. The courthouse needed that space to expand its services and the state then sought space elsewhere. I recall having hearings behind a library in a schoolroom. The last offices were an improvement but I suspect the new location is even better.
Saturday, August 08, 2015
The Division has just published a new newsletter for August 2015. Usually these newsletters are very helpful in providing insight into the Division and giving you a heads up on various legal matters. This month the focus is on Prehearing conference Judge Craig Eley. For my cases and myself Judge Eley has been great. He doesnewsletter and it's enjoyable to read about this popular and capable judge. At present he is working part time at the Division. I for one certainly hope he continues on for many years to come. By the way in the story Judge Eley tells us about one hobby he has, that of beekeeping. By day he deals with attorneys but goes home to relax with 60000 venomous insects. Also the newsletter alerts us to other things. There is a link to the latest laws and it provides a link to a guide for adjusters. You never know what these newsletters contain but they are always an interesting and even light hearted read. August 2015 gives us another excellent article and information.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
It is not often that a initial workers comp hearing decision makes the papers but this one did. It is not an appeals court case but the article indicates it will not be appealed. The case involved a deceased oil worker. It appears he was tank gauging or opening a tank toclicking here. It reports the widow will receive $530 a week for life. It is clear that the claimants attorney did a very good job. It also sets the stage for others to make claims and it may also lead to increased safety efforts. Bravo!
Monday, July 27, 2015
It should come as no surprise that a claimant has to be concerned about social media. An injured worker will usually have restrictions and limitations. The other side will often conduct an investigation. They may follow you and video your activities. It is most common to follow you when you shop or go meet your friends. Then their vocational expert or
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Yesterday the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in the Coats case. In that case a disabled employee for the Dish Network was terminated under its no tolerance drug policy. The worker was productive but required medically prescribed marijuana. Coats is the law.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Once again there is another Memorial Day. With each year it seems to gain importance from my perspective and that of many others. On this day we honor those who have served no matter what the year or by what measure. We truly
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Once again a volunteer fireman case reached the Court of Appeals. In the Smith case a volunteer fireman was injured on the way to a fire chiefs meeting. His claim was upheld but contested by Teller County and this led to an appeal. The contest was based on a number of
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
A recent court case was issued on March 12, 2015. In Kilpatrick the claimant sought to reopen a closed case based on new evidence. As part of his efforts claimant sought discovery of the insurers financial records of monetary gifts to any
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
For the past several years workers compensation has been fairly stable in Colorado. I guess that is a good thing given that over the past 25 years or so I saw a downward spiral for workers benefits and claims. That is my opinion but I think anyone looking into it would conclude the same. Employers saw their cost of insurance go down which was no The Demolition of Workers's Comp the author reviews this pattern of attack on workers benefits. It is a good read. I realize that business must control its costs in order to stay viable and employ its workers but I also see the injured worker as a cost of doing business which must be adequately protected. If not the cost is passed on to society and that means all of us. My view is that 100 years ago or so workers comp became important when we all realized that injured workers should not be an expense of society but should be an insurable expense for employers. So hopefully in the future direction for workers compensation we should all keep this in mind.
Monday, March 02, 2015
Recently the Division of Workers Compensation posted another newsletter. This is for February 2015. As I have said before these newsletters can contain a lot of interesting February 2015 newsletter is devoted to medical matters. For example it notes to us that effective April 1, 2015 the injured worker is provided a list of 4 physicians to make a choice for his treatment. There are variations if there are less medical providers within 30 miles of the employers location. Still this is an improvement from years ago when the employer just selected the physician to treat you. That led to criticism of employer favoritism. The new selection process at least affords more choices for the injured worker. Anyone injured at work should carefully review the physician list maintained by the employer. Historically physicians selected by employers come from their insurers who have those they favor. I can assure you that there are physicians who are not dedicated to the injured worker and who try to speedily move along treatment, perhaps to the disadvantage of the claimant. And then there are physicians who are heavily claimant oriented. Attorneys practicing in this area know all about these physicians and those less friendly to claimants. Anyway the newsletter discusses this issue and other medical matters. Those wishing to stay on top of the field should take a look at this newsletter.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
If you have a work injury then seek out representation through an attorney. Even where you are being treated fairly it remains my belief that you should obtain an attorney. Historically having an attorney often means obtaining more or better benefits. This area is complex and relying on the adjuster or your employer is simply not in your best interests. In my experience medical care is often better when you have an attorney. Also your compensation benefits are often far higher with an attorney. I've seen cases where benefits appear to be low become much higher with an attorney on your side. In any event there may be cases where you do not have an attorney or cases where it is early on and you need some help or assistance. In such situations perhaps the next best thing is to call the Division's customer service number. While they are not going to represent you they can provide some help and guidance. This can be a very technical field and it's better to contact customer service then go completely on your own. At least that is my opinion although having representation is usually your best bet under just about all circumstances. In any event feel free to contact customer service for helpful information and some assistance. The current phone number for customer service at the Division is 303-318-8700.
Monday, January 26, 2015
In December the division posted another newsletter. Realistically it is not all about claims. That is just the name they gave the newsletter. They publish the newsletter every so often and its purpose is to provide information to claims practitioners. Actually it has some good reading in it for many ofDecember 2014 newsletter has an excellent story about prehearing judge Tom McBride. What I like about it is that it humanizes the judge. We can get all wrapped up about a claim and the issues that we forget that those that decide any issues or assist us with settlement are quite human even if very experienced. The newsletter also touches on other subjects such as the new streamlined electronic settlement approval process and the new reporting requirements of OSHA. you can read about it and other resources in this latest newsletter. While the topics may not be relevant to any ongoing cases they do explore areas of interest to many in the field. Certainly anyone practicing should take a look at these newsletters as they come out but it also gives all of us another form of communication from the division to those involved with workers compensation in Colorado.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Well in Colorado we are approaching the new year. The year 2014 was "okay" for workers compensation in the sense that nothing horrific happened to reduce rights or benefits for claimants. The Division did post a new website appearance and there were some changes which can be seen in the prior postings on this blog and on the Division website. I am sure that 2015 will produce new cases and changes in rules or guidelines. From my perspective 2014 was fairly tame in Colorado workers compensation. Of course those claimants that had adverse decisions were not happy but nothing dramatic happened to greatly alter the state of affairs in this field. I still have concerns in some areas which I have commented on in the past but at least the field has been reasonably stable. Hopefully in 2015 every claimant will have experienced representation and fair treatment by the system. I WISH ALL CLAIMANTS THE VERY BEST IN THE NEW YEAR!