Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 2013 Colorado All About Claims Newsletter

Every now and then Colorado puts out a workers comp newsletter. They just recently published this issue in January 2013. It is actually quite nice to read this newsletter as it personalizes the system and
also alerts you to recent developments. The process is not faceless and this issue provides us with some information on Judge Purdie. It introduces you to Judge Lamphere. It discusses new rules and procedures too. I actually would like to see this newsletter published more frequently and have claimant and respondent input too. The newsletter is an informal way of discussing various workers comp matters and meeting those who play a role in the workers comp process. People can be critical of the system and the outcome of cases but I have to admit most of the people who work in it, from judges to attorneys to assistants, work very hard. Many cases are quite complicated and take a long time to resolve. There usually is just a formal side that you may see. The motion, the order, a brief, a form to fill out and medical reports to read can make it all seem very cold. But there really are people involved in the process. A claimant may be the most involved but the adjustor is also financially and actively involved. Newsletters and other publications can help all of us understand how it is going and even some of the players. If at all possible every claimant should obtain an experienced attorney. Going it alone is quite hazardous especially in terms of getting the proper treatment and receiving an adequate award.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Top 10 Bizarre Cases for 2012

Over at LexisNexis they gave us their top ten bizarre workers compensation cases for 2012. Now each state has their own laws and none of these are Colorado cases. But they still are provocative. So for the that reason perhaps they are worthwhile to tell us that strange cases sometimes appear. Bizarre is the word used by the author of the LexisNexis article but these cases are, at least, unusual.
These cases discuss rattlesnake bites and exotic dancers and pigeon droppings but they also discuss how surveillance led to a tort claim. Being claimant oriented I do not approve of the outcome in all these cases and no one should consider them Colorado law. But they are unusual and interesting to read. They remind us that workers compensation is not a simple matter. Many cases can get quite complicated. Some can last for years. It is advisable that whenever possible a claimant should seek out an attorney to assist him. Even where a claimant has been treated nicely in the beginning you usually can use an attorney to set up the final settlement or resolution. Insurers will almost always take the lowest cost way to end cases and imply that is all you get. Historically having an attorney increases your odds for a better settlement. You often just get one shot at this for a problem that you may have for the rest of your life. In my experience settlements have been far higher with an attorney than relying on the insurer to be fair.