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.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Colorado Injured Workers Survey
Over at the Colorado Division of Workers Compensation they just posted the results of a survey now required by law. Once the case is over or close to over a survey request is sent out to the claimant. For this first survey not that many responded but it is enough to tell us something. The survey itself asks about courtesy, promptness, medical care and overall satisfaction. The weakest area, according to claimants finishing their case, is in disputes being promptly resolved. Amen to that as delays are common in a field originally set up with good intentions. Most cases seem to take 2 years if they involve a serious injury and an attorney. Some cases go much faster but often it is because they are being treated as minor. I have always planned on at least a year but it does depend on the injury and how much medical care is needed. Even then many cases seem to drag on largely because the system has remedies that take time to work through. A Division IME adds a minimum of 3 or 4 months to the process. You file this paper and wait for the other side. Then they file and you respond. Then you wait for the Division to give you doctor names and then once selected there is a window within which you must set the appointment. Even then it takes time to receive the report and more time for the insurer to act before the claimant can act. It is a bit like a baseball game as the law gives each side a time at bat so no matter how fast you want to go it takes time to line it all up. As for the survey results you can access them by clicking here. Pinnacol received a 3.6 grade out of 5 for overall satisfation. Zurich Insurance was a 4 and the worst among the larger companies was Kroger at 2.5 but all the results have been posted. You may need a spreadsheet program to look at it all but what it tells me is that the overall grade is like a C or C plus. Let me add this...it is not good enough for those disabled and relying on a government mandated compensation program to say it was just okay. Claimants are often hurting physically, financially and are also stressed by the situation even under the best of circumstances. They deserve courtesy, promptness and decent medical care. To me the lower the grade the more adversarial the company. Persistent low grades on surveys may warrant further review or further regulation.
"...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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. 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.