A blog by a retired Colorado attorney on legal news, views and tips on Colorado Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability. Written from the point of view of the injured or disabled worker.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Amendment 57 Injured Worker Remedies (Withdrawn)
The upcoming election has on the ballot Amendment 57. Well that was the story but this has been withdrawn even though its on the ballot. Amendments 53,55,56 and 57 were withdrawn by the Dems. I will not bother to discuss all these but Amendment 57 was an effort to help injured workers by adding another claim that could be filed. However it is beyond workers compensation coverage. In the past workers compensation has been considered the exclusive remedy for a work injury. You could not sue your employer for an unsafe workplace. You could not recover for pain and suffering or punitive damages. Your remedy was limited to those benefits allowed by Colorado workers comp law. If this law passes it opens the door to new civil claims with a jury trial for unsafe workplaces that cause damages to workers. However it only applies to employers with ten or more employees and it prevents a double recovery for the same losses for which you received workers compensation benefits. I prefer that we increase benefits within the workers compensation system but this proposed law does offer a new approach. Sadly some workers comp cases really do not fairly compensate injured workers. I am especially concerned about cases where you lose your trade but receive an amount set by law which is simply inadequate. This law, if it passes (but realize it is now withdrawn from the voters), opens the door to further civil claims and frankly injured workers deserve more. Insurers can contest claims and use the law to limit benefits without regard to the inhumanity of it. Pain is poorly compensated. Often the injured worker loses his job and his health and is expected to just move along with low benefits. This proposed law lets you present it to a jury who may understand the true losses that are experienced. What does seem clear to me is that the true losses from a work injury must be compensated whether by this withdrawn effort or others that loosen up the tough laws that hurt injured workers over the last 15 years or so.
"...this is the cause of my life, new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American -- north, south, east, west, young, old -- will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege." Ted Kennedy Aug 26, 2008 (Update: June 28, 2012 the US Supreme Court upholds Obamacare)
Do We Pass the Test?
"It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped."
I've been living in beautiful Colorado and practicing law for over 35 years. It's been a great place to raise a family. Originally from New York I settled here, married here and raised two daughters, Jenny and Mary. I practiced near downtown Colorado Springs but now consider myself "retired" so I am not taking any more legal matters, clients or cases but I appreciate being able to help as many clients as I could for so many years. Now I especially enjoy my retirement time with family including 4 special ones...a grandson, Max, twin granddaughters, Penny and Cici and last but not least grandson Eliot. You can contact me at my email address which is email@example.com.
In the past we offered free consultations in cases but we are not taking any more legal matters or cases as retirement calls. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We've been protecting injured workers for many years and truly went the distance for many people. We made a difference for most of them and stood up for right not might. If you need an attorney I suggest you find someone where you live who offers free consultations. Also I urge you to discuss your case with an attorney if at all possible. This field is technical and complex. I would even call it tricky so seek advice from an attorney. If that is not possible call the Colorado Division of Workers Compensation customer service section for helpful information.
The information in this blog is intended to represent my personal views and opinions. It is not intended to be specific or personal legal advice which should only be obtained by a consultation with an experienced attorney. All this blog provides is general information I consider important to me. It may be of interest to others but for any advice or advisory statements consult with an attorney not a blog.
Special Personal News on Cici, our grandaughter (September 2011)
Nearly 3 years ago our grandaughter Cici had a serious medical problem. Her survival was at risk and she was deprived of oxygen because of a tragic choking/swallowing problem. It is known as an anoxic brain injury. The recovery has been challenging and slow but some progress has been made. We are thankful to be part of her recovery. I remain truly grateful for the prayers and touching support provided by so many people to my daughter and the family. We are actively committed to Cici's recovery and to her loved one's for as long as it takes. You can follow this difficult but amazing journey on my daughter's and husband Matt's Blog. Where there is life there is hope. We've had tough times but we have also seen courage and love in action for her and also for others. For examples look below.