Thursday, June 25, 2009
Burden of Proof on modification
I previously posted on some statutory changes but overlooked one which on a second look seems pretty significant. This is stated effective for claims filed on or after August 5, 2009. SB 09-168 amends Colorado Revised Statutes 8-43-201 on hearings to say that the party seeking to modify an admission or order has the burden of proof when it wants to modify it. The best example of this is that under current law the Respondents can come in at a hearing and assert compensability (that is question coverage even after they admitted the claim). Common sense says fine but it should be their burden to prove it after they admitted the original injury was on the job. Well under the current law it was always the claimants burden when the other side raised this issue. Having the burden could mean that in a close call situation the claimant months later could lose his entire case. You can bet Respondents knew this and used it to their advantage at times. Now the law is that it becomes a Respondent burden. A Judge can now be permitted to question the other side's reasons so claimants have a bit more law on their side now. Click here to see the law changes.