Thursday, June 20, 2013

All About Claims Newsletter June 2013

The Division has just issued a new newsletter. It reviews the latest legislation on Colorado workers compensation law. The changes in the DIME
(Division Independent Medical Examination) process is also set forth. DIMEs are heavily used in cases. Every attorney and anyone interested should know the process and requirements. So this newsletter is educational in providing some insight. The newsletter even provides a flow chart of the process on its last page. In my experience DIMEs are extremely important in many cases. I have found that the treating physician seldom provides a fair assessment. Some do but most do not. They may place the claimant at MMI (maximum medical improvement) and they then rate or assess permanency at a low level. They may even exclude from the assessment conditions they believe are not from the work injury. When properly selected a DIME can often correct this. They may say that MMI has not be reached so more treatment is needed and they may rate or assess a higher level of permanent injury. Taking issue with the treating doctors conclusions which are then often deemed correct by the insurance is perhaps the most important part of many cases. Frequently a claimant may need additional treatment and usually the extent of permanent injury is greater then what is stated by the treating doctor. A DIME is often the great equalizer and in my experience has often resulted in substantially more benefits for claimants. There can be circumstances where a DIME is needed by the other side too. In every single case an effort should be made to obtain a fair assessment. So a DIME and the DIME process should be important concerns in most cases. An attorney experienced in this area will usually know what to do and how to go about selecting a DIME doctor. It is not a simple process and where possible every claimant should be represented.

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