Monday, November 06, 2006

Two Colorado cases announced today: Williams and Stefanski

The Colorado Supreme Court just issued opinions in two related cases today. These cases arise from the procedure used in Colorado to review an authorized treating doctors opinion on MMI (maximum medical improvement) and permanent impairment. Usually the claimant pays $675.00 for that review because the claimant questions the opinion of the treating doctor (often selected and approved by the employer/insurance). My experience has been that often an independent exam reveals a person needs more treatment or has a greater impairment then allowed by the treating doctor. These independent exams are important because they help to protect the claimant from a premature discharge from treatment or they add to the permanent impairment award. Colorado courts were divided on the problem of what happens if the independent doctor says you at not at MMI and after further treatment the treating doctor again says you are done. Who pays for the next visit to the independent doctor? Claimants seldom have the money to pay again. The decisions today determined that the insurer must pay not the claimant. My view has always been that when you seek this independent exam to address MMI, permanency and other items that you pay for it once not over and over again. In any event here is the link:

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