Thursday, March 04, 2010

Proposed SB 10-163

This recently submitted and proposed bill just may pass. It seeks to spruce up certain prior laws of 2009 and have new or old cases have the same procedural laws at least in certain areas. SB 10-163 as currently proposed can be read here. It contains a number of significant matters. For example if the insurer/employer seeks to withdraw an admission and totally contest the claim the proposed law makes it their burden no matter how old the case. In the old days when they did this the Judge would turn to the claimant and say it is your burden so prove your case even though it was admitted and benefits paid for many months. Imagine going to seek an increase in your benefits and being told...well we changed our mind so now you must prove your claim is even valid or compensable. That scary situation was changed in 2009 but the proposed law now applies even to very old cases. Another proposal is to have the law regarding audio recordings by insurer IME's also apply to all cases not just the more recent cases. So if you have an older case but must go to an insurer independent medical exam (no such thing exists in my opinion when one party handpicks the doctor) that doctor may have to comply with the law mandating audio recordings. A couple of other wrinkles seem interesting to me. They require the mortality tables be adjusted yearly or the fed table be used. Mortality is important as the longer your life expectancy the more you seek in a settlement in many cases. Also the proposal seeks to end the game of sending someone a fax or email but using regular mail to notify the other side. It makes such communications more uniform in delivery. It is my belief this proposed bill is broadly supported so it may pass.
UPDATE 3/19/10 : This bill passed and is headed to the Governor for his signature.

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