Thursday, October 18, 2007

Final Admissions

In Colorado when a Final Admission of Liability is filed in a workers comp matter this is an extremely important document. In essence the insurance or self-insured party/employer is saying that they wish to close the claim based upon precisely what they state within the Final Admission itself. It may provide for permanent benefits or not. It may provide for further medical care or not. It may say any number of things which you might wish to question. The key thing to realize is that you are on a deadline of 30 days from date of mailing to act as provided by the law or your claim will likely be closed as provided in the Final Admission. Now there can be exceptions where the Final Admission is defective and can be struck down but that is very rare. So anyone receiving a Final Admission should know they must act promptly to question it. And this does not mean just calling up someone at the insurance. The required language on these Final Admissions sets forth how to properly act to object and follow through on the objection. Since this is usually a complicated matter consult with an attorney or at least call the Division of Workers Comp customer service for further information. Their number is 1-888-390-7936. At my office we routinely object to any Final Admission and go further to protect the claimant, such as moving to obtain a Division IME (doctor through the state to examine and provide another opinion). If we do not seek a DIME doctor we still usually then apply for a hearing if appropriate. It is a judgement call we make depending on the circumstances for our clients. However the important thing here is to realize you do not have to accept the insurance company position in the Final Admission but must act fast. Almost always when we object and go forward it is to obtain more benefits. Additional benefits possible include more medical treatment and more compensation but again it is a call we make on a case by case basis. Simply put: beware of any Final Admission!

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