Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Unrepresented Claimants Revisited

In 2006 I posted on what resources were available for those who do not have an attorney to handle their case. That is now outdated. Sometimes attorneys will not take your case. There are many reasons for this and not always personal to your case. You may have a very good case but the attorney is busy or going in a different direction. Other times the attorney may conclude that your case has merit but does not fall into an area he wants to handle. Still other times an attorney decides there is not enough at stake to commit himself and his staff to your case. By all means keep looking for an attorney even going outside your locale if you have to do so. But if you must proceed on your own the state does provide useful information for you. You should contact the customer service people at the Division. They can assist when you do not have an attorney. There are many resources and much information available to you but I caution you to be thorough and not assume it is all common sense. Workers comp is a creature of statute, cases, rules and guidelines. All of this except the cases are available to you on the web. On this blog we often will post appellate cases. Also there are lower level decisions with caselaw you can review. Also read the publication for injured workers. At this link learn about non-lawyer workers compensation. Also at this link you can read an Overview of the Worker's Compensation Claim Process. Also from this page you can read more about representing yourself in proceedings including a non-lawyers guide. Be aware that anyone involved with a claim may also be involved with two agencies the Division of Workers Compensation and the Office of Administrative Courts. Information on this distinction can be read here. These links are important pages but really just explore what Colorado does have on the web so that you are as informed as you can be. A word of caution: represent yourself only as a last resort...this area of law is complex and difficult to navigate. But it is not impossible and if you must handle it yourself read the above and use customer service noted above.

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