What a Difference An “AND” Makes In Colorado Work Injuries

What a Difference An “AND” Makes In Colorado Work Injuries

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THE Industrial Claims Appeals Office (ICAO) HIGHLIGHTS A MAJOR LIMITATION ON MAINTENANCE MEDICAL CARE

Intersection between a law with a later statute creates a major distinction for injured workers’ medical care rights.

Lola Chism injured her left shoulder in July 2009 in an admitted work injury.  Following what was described as “considerable” physical therapy, and two surgical procedures her treating physician placed her at Maximum Medical Improvement(MMI) in January 2011.  The treating physician recommended, and the insurance carrier admitted for, future maintenance medical benefits.

Injured Colorado workers are entitled to medical benefits following an on-the-job injury “to cure and relieve effects of the injury.”  CRS §8-42-101(1)(a).  In 1988 the Colorado Supreme Court interpreted that law as requiring Colorado Workers Compensation Insurance carriers to pay for all medical care “to relieve the worker from the effects of the industrial injury” based upon the rationale that it “is an obvious fact of industrial life, however, that an injured worker can reach maximum medical improvement from an injury and yet require periodic medical care to prevent further deterioration in his or her physical condition.”  Grover v. Industrial Commission, 759 P.2d 705, 710 (Colo. 1988).

However the Colorado Legislature added a formal, statuotry definition of MMI as the “point when any physical impairment is stable and “no further treatment is reasonably expected to improve the condition.” That definition excluded from ‘further treatment’ any “future medical maintenance.”  CRS § 8-40-201 (11.5).

Ms. Chism continued to have ongoing physical therapy for her shoulder after MMI as maintenance care.  In December of 2015 the treating physician referred her to a surgeon who recommended a reverse total arthroplasty   The employer challenged the proposed treatment, however an ALJ ruled that the surgery should be approved, finding it reasonable and necessary to “cure and relieve” the effects of the injury. The employer appealed.

The ICAO determined the obligation to “cure” the effects of the injury ends at MMI because of the later 1991 statutory definition of MMI that declares “no further treatment is reasonably expected to improve” the injured worker’s condition.  Thus, ICAO reasons, only treatment that will relieve but not cure the work injury can qualify as maintenance care.

The ICAO remanded the case back to the Administrative Law Judge for further consideration if the proposed treatment would just “relieve” the injury, noting that there was no “bright line” test to distinguish between those treatments.  Because six years had passed after the injury, Ms. Chism cannot reopen her work injury claim, she is limited to maintenance care.  If this surgery is curative – it has to be denied under the ICAO’s parsing of the statute.

 

CITE:  Chism v. Walmart, WC No. 4-809-103-03, (January 9, 2017).

Life Care Planning: An essential component in your Workers’ Compensation Settlement

Life Care Planning: An essential component in your Workers’ Compensation Settlement

Denver Disability Denver Workers Compensation Greeley Workers Compensation Lawyer

Workers’ Compensation legal representation involves a great many moving parts, and if you are injured on the job in Colorado, a Greeley or Denver workers’ compensation lawyer is invaluable. Your attorney can ensure that important issues are thoroughly addressed during settlement negotiations. In the event of long-term disability from a work injury, it’s essential that your settlement includes a comprehensive life care plan. This vital component is necessary to cover and address issues that you will face in the future. Many injured workers are extremely concerned with the here and now. How will you pay bills, support your family, receive medical care and replace lost income? This is completely understandable. Your life is in upheaval and you are dealing with urgent issues that need to be addressed quickly. But once the dust settles, what then? Your long-term care is an important factor. How you will pay for rehabilitation, continue to provide for yourself and your family, and take advantage of medical advancements is key. These are the things that a life care plan deals with.

Key Differences Between Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Personal Injury Awards

If at Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), you are determined to be permanently and totally disabled due to a work-related injury, you are no longer able to earn a living through gainful employment. Your workers’ compensation Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits provide income to replace this wage loss. Experts assess your life expectancy, how long you would have been able to work and the amount of income you would have earned over this time span. This amount should be reflected in your settlement. But, that’s not the end of the story. Your injury has likely left you with a number of medical, physical, emotional and rehabilitative needs. A comprehensive settlement should allow for these needs as well. This is where a well-designed life care plan comes into play.

Establishing and Proving Your Long-Term Needs

The input and testimony of qualified life care planning experts is essential to your workers’ compensation settlement. They are skilled in reviewing the evidence to determine your future personal and medical needs, and any remaining earning capacity. These forensic consultants delve into your medical reports and your prognosis. They examine how similar injuries have affected other workers, the associated costs they have accrued, the previous settlement amounts that have been awarded in these cases and a number of other contributing factors to determine what you need to provide for you over the long-term. Important factors for consideration include:

Coverage for medical advancements that can help your recovery

  • Financial compensation for your income loss
  • Funds availability for technological and medical apparatuses that help you live a fuller life
  • Home care and assistance to replace the duties you are no longer able to perform
  • Travel expenses related to your medical and psychological care
  • Various other costs related to your care and disability

Retaining Qualified Experts for Life Care Planning

Naturally, you cannot rely upon your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier to provide extensive research for your life care plan. They don’t work for you. Their goal is to take care of your claim as expediently as possible at the minimum of expense. Your Denver or Greeley workers’ compensation attorney is the professional that you can count on to ensure that all of your long-term care needs are accounted for in your settlement. An accomplished legal professional in this field understands what is at stake and has the necessary resources to establish the necessity of each and every requirement in a comprehensive life care plan. He retains a skilled life care planner and collaborates with this professional to negotiate a settlement that covers all of your long-term needs.

You Won’t Believe the Unusual Injuries Covered by Workers’ Comp

You Won’t Believe the Unusual Injuries Covered by Workers’ Comp

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Workers Compensation is an important employee benefit and right. It’s designed to pay for treatment associated with injuries and illnesses that occur as you perform duties associated with your job. However, it can cover eight unusual injuries you may have never considered before now.

Company Events

At the company picnic, you trip while playing volleyball and sprain your ankle. Your injuries could be covered by Workers Comp. File a claim if you’re injured or become ill during a company-sponsored picnic or party, business meeting held off-site, corporate ballgame or any special event you attend because of work.

Lunch Breaks

You walk into the lunch room for your break, slip on the wet floor and break your elbow. Your injuries could be covered by Workers Comp. You could also consider filing a claim if you’re injured while picking up lunch at the corner deli for your boss since technically you are working, but your injuries won’t be covered if you are injured while grabbing lunch for yourself or a co-worker.

Travel

You’re rear-ended while driving to work and suffer whiplash. If you’re in your personal car, you can’t file a Workers Comp claim, but if that same accident happens while you drive a company car, you could be eligible for Workers Comp. It can also cover injuries that occur as you travel to business meetings, to meet clients or while visiting potential and current customers.

Diseases and Illnesses

Your company decides to remodel the offices, and you work on the same floor as the repairs. Because of the asbestos in the old ceiling tiles, you develop black lung disease. File a Workers Comp claim for this and other diseases or illnesses that occur because of your work.

Hearing Loss

After working in a noisy environment for a few year, you notice that you can’t hear as well as you used to. File a Worker Comp claim, talk to your Denver disability attorney and receive compensation for your impairment if you can prove that the hearing loss happened while you were on the job.

Mental Health Conditions

Your boss micromanages every project and places so much pressure on you that you can’t even go to work. Consider filing a Workers Comp claim if you become chronically stressed, depressed or traumatized on the job. Be prepared to prove that your condition is caused 100 percent by your work, and ask a medical professional to help you prove your case.

Pre-existing Conditions

The ruptured disc in your back was repaired years ago and hasn’t bothered you until you started performing repetitive lifting tasks for your job. Now, you may be able to file a Workers Comp claim because your job aggravated your preexisting condition.

Misconduct

While showing off your muscles for a cute co-worker, you lift a chair and promptly drop it on your foot. Your injury could be covered by Workers Comp since it can cover injuries even if they occur as you break a company safety rule or perform a criminal act. Before you decide to embrace misconduct, though, remember that it does not usually cover self-inflicted injures and you give up your right to sue your employer if you file a Workers Comp claim.

These eight areas are unusual but could fall under Workers Comp. As with any Workers Compensation claim, you must prove that the illness or injury was caused by your job and is work-related. Contact your Denver workers compensation attorney today to learn more. We’re here to help you figure out if you can file a claim, and we’ll work with you to get you the benefits you deserve.

Virtual Job Site Safety: Virtual Reality Technology and Worker Safety

Virtual Job Site Safety: Virtual Reality Technology and Worker Safety

Denver Disability Denver Workers Compensation Greeley Workers Compensation Lawyer

Technology constantly changes as a result of innovation. As new technologies emerge, their applications spread across fields wider than people can imagine. Virtual reality, for example, is the inevitable destination of many video game consoles, allowing players to almost fully integrate into their fantasy worlds created by designers. Even Denver workers’ compensation lawyers wouldn’t have been able to predict that the newest use for virtual reality is workers’ compensation.

An Austin, Texas-based workers’ compensation insurance company named Texas Mutual is presenting a new virtual reality application this week to teach workers at construction sites about construction safety. Especially in the construction industry, where Greeley workers’ compensation attorneys and Denver work comp lawyers know many accidents happen, workplace safety is the best and first line against workplace injury. Safety videos are important and should be universally applied to teach employees about the very real risks they face when they walk into the workplace.

There are many ways to get into an accident on a construction site. Texas Mutual’s application, called “Safety in a Box,” shows four very real construction workplace scenarios that could cause death. These scenarios include an electrocution, a trench collapse, a fall from a high site, and—like Wile-E-Coyote—a cinder block falling from above.

The application is different from Loony Toons and it’s not a “Faces of Death” video, either. The videos aren’t graphic and there is no blood. However, the virtual reality technology allows for a full view of the site, which gives a viewer the sense of actually being in the situation. This would be impossible earlier without actually being involved in the accident. Such use for virtual reality software isn’t intuitive but such a creative solution to a real problem goes to show how much insurance companies devote to workplace safety. After all, it’s in everyone’s best interest to avoid workplace injury altogether.

Texas Mutual plans on showing the app at the Texas workers’ compensation summit, where it’ll let people interact with the virtual reality headsets and get the sense of actually being in the workplace accident scenario. This is especially important for younger workers, who aren’t necessarily accustomed to the workplace and might not have a full idea of what kind of safety practices are necessary to avoid workplace injury.

This year, Google says it’s shipped over five million of its virtual reality headsets as of January. Industry estimates for the next decade indicate that the industry will grow exponentially, if not predictably. As more industries learn about the full capabilities of virtual reality technology, new applications will emerge that were not obvious to anyone at the time of the invention of the technology.

Texas Mutual wanted the project to appeal to younger workers and instruct them in best practices in the eventual reality of workplace accidents. After all, there are better ways to avoid danger and worse ways. The more exposure younger and older workers have to the variety of situations that may arise, the better. Texas Mutual included a Spanish version of the application, with the intent of providing instruction to workers regardless of language barrier.

Each video shows a particular type of accident that would be possible at a work site and illustrates actors shouting out instructions for best practices. The protagonist’s refusal to follow their advice leads to the workplace accident, which is hopefully the first and only time the viewer experiences such an incident. The instruction is invaluable and much more visceral than a safety video recorded decades ago. Construction and technology are changing and evolving by leaps and bounds with each new innovation. Workplace safety and best practices generally stay the same. Companies finding new ways of delivering the same information is in everyone’s best interest because it keeps workers healthy and able to continue their lives on their terms.

Workers’ Compensation can be difficult, confusing, and very complex. Kaplan Morrell has helped thousands of injured workers since 1997 get the benefits they deserve. Contact us here or call us at (866) 356-9898 for your free consultation.

Heart Disease and Variable Night Shifts: Compensation for Women Who Work Nights

Heart Disease and Variable Night Shifts: Compensation for Women Who Work Nights

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The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published an article about new research tracking the association between night shift work and heart disease. Denver workers’ compensation attorneys and Greeley workers’ compensation lawyers generally work with people who suffer sudden injuries, where a process that worked for years suddenly goes wrong. Sometimes, lax employer standards or industry standards are at fault.

Construction cases, factory cases, and even driving cases are normal for the workers’ compensation lawyers that call Colorado home. However, while many workers know that sudden injuries aren’t the only risks they face in the workplace, not much substantial research had been done prior to this study’s publication. Many women take on rotating night shift work as nurses in the medical field.

Hospitals and clinics are open late because accidents don’t have a limited time frame. Many hospitals or clinics that aren’t open 24-hours risk patients seeking care elsewhere simply because of convenience. This means there is a huge demand for a workforce that by nature has flexible, long hours. Many nurses work through the night certain days then the day shift different days of the week, which alters sleep schedules and leads to a general confusion for the body. With more research being done about the real importance of sleep—and it is vital for a healthy lifestyle—Greeley workers’ compensation lawyers must answer more questions about long-term illness as a result of work history than ever.

This research was done on rotating night shift work, which means 3 or more night shifts per month plus day and evening shifts, and started in 1988. This research tracked by questionnaire how many rotating night shifts were worked by each participant as well as doctor-diagnosed events that qualify for coronary heart disease. The study allowed for variables such as diet and physical activity because poor nutrition and lack of physical exercise are also strongly linked to heart disease. The study also allowed for age variance because as we age, our bodies naturally become more susceptible to heart disease and related episodes. These data were weighed against women in the same approximate age ranges, activity levels, who made similar nutritional choices, but had no history of night shift work.

The study also looked at family history of heart problems, cigarette and alcohol intake, race, and vitamin use, among other factors. This study was done over 24 years and excluded women who did not answer questions for 2 consecutive cycles. Generally, the study found that younger women with lower alcoholic consumption and less smoking had fewer cardiac episodes and took less medications and vitamins. However, as night shift work went up, so did cardiac episodes, even in the relatively young and healthy women. In fact, across the board, night shift work had a general positive statistically-significant correlation with heart disease over time.

Any nurse who works rotating night and day shifts could tell you that rotating shifts are exhausting and difficult to recover from. No one ever claimed it was healthy. However, the more studies that are done about potential health risks of particular medical fields, the more likely it is that long-term conditions like heart disease as a result of rotating shift work will become recognizable in the eyes of the law. Like lung trouble and mine work, there may come a day heart disease and rotating shift work for women become obviously linked and women who experience symptoms brought on by their work can get the medical treatment they need for work-related illnesses. The law constantly changes as new science emerges about the dangers of particular workplaces. However, as Denver workers’ compensation lawyers argue every day, workers who become sick as a result of work conditions should receive compensation. It’s only fair.

Workers’ Compensation can be difficult, confusing, and very complex. Kaplan Morrell has helped thousands of injured workers since 1997 get the benefits they deserve. Contact us here or call us at (866) 356-9898 for your free consultation.

Oil Gauging Practice as a Health-damaging Working Condition

Oil Gauging Practice as a Health-damaging Working Condition

Denver Disability Denver Workers Compensation Social Security Blog Workers Compensation Blog

There was a controversial case here in Colorado just recently. A judge ruled in favor of a widow whose husband died because of unfavorable working conditions.

Jim Freemyer, an oil-field worker, died in 2014 after inhaling toxic chemicals in a low-oxygen atmosphere at the Gaddis oil tank site. What he did was most commonly known as ‘tank gauging,’ in which the worker, in this case Freemyer, was tasked to hold a measuring device to check the tank’s oil level. He was employed by Now or Never Trucking Inc. in Greeley. His widow was awarded funeral expenses and a monthly death benefit. Aside from that, she also expects to receive an amount of $19,600, as ordered by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA). OSHA wrote to Mrs. Freemyer that Now or Never exhibited lapses in safety measures, which consequently caused his husband’s demise.

Freemyer had an existing ailment, a cardio vascular diseas, at the time of his death. Pinnacol Assurance used this reason in an attempt to deny him of his posthumous benefits. Nevertheless, the judge took into consideration the testimony of Freemyer’s doctor. The doctor testified that his continuous exposure to toxic gasses caused his pre-existing heart ailment. The oil firm was already at fault to begin with.

Deplorable working conditions

Opening the hatches of oil tanks is extremely dangerous. Hydrocarbon chemicals escape through the top and are immediately ingested by workers. These chemicals often come in the form unseen gasses which make it difficult to know if anything is wrong. A low-oxygen environment exasperated the problem.

It was also reported in the case proceedings that Freemyer was wearing a filter respirator. However, it was revealed that the said respirator was not intended for low-oxygen environments. In other words, the respirator was a failure. There were also no efforts on the part of the company to hold training sessions (so that employees would know how to recognize hazard). Lastly, the company did not impose strict measures to address low-oxygen atmospheres.

Related: Oil Gauging: Dangerous Work and One Man’s Posthumous Benefits

The importance of this case

This case highlights the reality of oil field workers who risk their health for their job. Freemyer’s widow said that she wished she could’ve known more about the pitfalls of working at an oil field. This case sends a strong message to oil companies that they should keep up with safety standards. Freemyer died due to the company’s neglectful practices and was awarded posthumous benefits. Similar cases can follow suit. This event has also garnered wide media coverage and consequently, has gained the public’s much needed attention.

Contact a Denver workers compensation lawyers for similar issues

A Denver and Greeley workers compensation attorney can enlighten employees about this matter. Before he died, Freemyer was already working under duress. An injustice has been done but went unnoticed—until his tragic death. Don’t let the same happen to you. At this point, you need to know your rights to a safe working environment. No one can explain it better to you than an experienced workers compensation lawyer from Kaplan Morrell. For decades, we have helped hundreds of Colorado workers. Contact us today for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Long Term Compensation and its Relationship to Workers’ Compensation

Long Term Compensation and its Relationship to Workers’ Compensation

Denver Disability Denver Workers Compensation Social Security Blog Workers Compensation Blog

Let’s say you have a workers’ compensation claim in Colorado and your Denver workers’ compensation attorney has worked with you to get you as much help as possible. You’ve gone through the process of healing and your workers’ compensation doctor has placed you at maximum medical improvement after the injury. Your Denver workers’ compensation lawyer and you have discussed the question and you’ve both decided you feel as good as you’re going to and it’s time to wrap up your case. Do you qualify for long-term workers’ compensation disability benefits?

Well, as Denver and Greeley workers’ compensation lawyers know, it’s not a matter of being completely unable to work ever again. Actually, most injured workers eventually return to work, depending on the severity of their injuries and the type of work they return to. For example, if you have a limited ability to work as a result of your work-related injury, you may be eligible to collect long-term disability benefits through workers’ compensation insurance. These beneifts are called permanent disability benefits.

If your medical treatment was good enough to allow you to recover fully from your work-related injuries, however, you will not be able to receive long-term benefits through workers’ compensation.

During your case, you probably enjoyed the benefits that came with workers’ compensation claims. You saw doctors who treated you for your injuries and didn’t have to pay because workers’ compensation covers all care related to workers’ compensation claims. If you miss work for your medical care or as a result of the injury, workers’ compensation reimburses you for 66.66% of your lost wages. This compensation is tax free and based on what you argue is your income prior to the injury. Workers’ compensation also covers travel expenses for workers under compensation claims who need to travel to see their doctors and receive medical care related to the work injury. If you don’t recover fully from the injury, however, workers’ compensation also provides some money to help compensate you for the permanent disability your work injury caused.

Related: Social Security Disability Benefits and Long Term Disability Benefits

To get what’re called permanent disability benefits, you have to be permanently, totally disabled or permanently, partially disabled. Lots of states define permanent total disability as a certain number of injuries which include loss of both hands/feet, paralysis, or permanent loss of sight in the eyes. Permanent total disability is rare so if you qualify for permanent disability benefits through workers’ compensation, they probably fall under the category of permanent partial disability.

Permanent partial disability is defined as a worker not being completely recovered from his or her work-related injury. Each state calculates the amount of permanent disability differently. Generally, though, once a worker reaches what’s called maximum medical improvement, the doctor sets a number to the individual’s injury. This is usually a percentage and meant to symbolize the amount a worker is disabled. The percentage can either be a partial or full body impairment rating and a worker’s final settlement amount often depends highly on this number.

One of the off-putting things about workers’ compensation is definitely this tendency toward numeralizing injury. The system itself seems arbitrary and counter-intuitive. After all, how can you really put a price on your left hand versus your right hand. How can anyone put a price on a limb at all? However, the fact is law requires us to make pragmatic decisions based on systematic, if somewhat arbitrary, factors. These factors are related to what we commonly believe is the approximate numerical value on injuries. Otherwise, how could we systematically help people who need it? The percentage of injury or permanent disability rating is an attempt at making the loss of limb right.

Workers’ Compensation can be difficult, confusing, and very complex. Kaplan Morrell has helped thousands of injured workers since 1997 get the benefits they deserve. Contact us here or call us at(866) 356-9898 for your free consultation.

Source: http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/resources/workers-compensation/am-i-eligible-workers-compensation-l

Lawsuit Against the Veterans Association Tries to Make VA Think of Veterans First

Lawsuit Against the Veterans Association Tries to Make VA Think of Veterans First

Denver Disability Denver Workers Compensation Social Security Blog Workers Compensation Blog

On May 9th, the Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States filed a lawsuit against the Department of Veteran affairs. As Disability lawyers, we are particularly attuned to the needs of disabled American veterans for two simple reasons. One, Americans in general have a duty toward disabled veterans and two, many Denver disability lawyers are veterans of foreign wars, themselves. The lawsuit itself is simple: the societies want to change the claims submission procedure to benefit veterans, not the VA. Recently, many stories emerged about ridiculous wait times for care and difficulty for veterans to even be seen by physicians because of procedural issues. While that is not the main focus of this lawsuit, it would seem the treatment options for veterans are getting increasingly limited. This is a tragic issue, particularly as it relates to individuals who risked everything defending our country.

The original claims process was informal, which aided veterans in their quest for care by removing a lot of beaurocratic red tape as it relates to claim submission. Any written communication would originally do for the VA as notice that a veteran would be coming in to seek care. The effective date for the original claim, assuming it was approved, would be back dated to the date of the communication. For those of us who aren’t Denver disability attorneys, that means benefits would start from the moment the letter, email, or post-it note filing a claim was sent to the VA. March 24th of 2015 changed that process and veterans seem to unanimously want the original process back.

Related: More Veterans Waiting Too Long for their Compensation Claims

The current claim form is official and standardized, which is probably more convenient for the VA from an administrative standpoint. To give both sides a somewhat even hand, most claims forms for any type of injury are standardized and sometimes labyrinthine in terms of information required. Think of any doctor’s office intake form. Our world is being increasingly streamlined in an attempt to make paperwork easier, office work more efficient, so an extraordinarily large volume of information can be processed as quickly as possible to make room for the next person in line for benefits. However, the new claim submission process, despite this lofty goal, really just makes it easier to deny compensation to veterans. What’s worse, if the veteran is finally awarded benefits, the new submission form postpones the effective date, which means a significant loss in the amount of benefits awarded as compared with the previous submission method.

William L. Bradshaw is the VFW director of National Veterans Service and oversees over 1,000 service officers, accredited by the VA, who help veterans who need assistance filing their claims with the VA. He says his organization does not object to a standardized form, but to the approach that limits service to veterans by changing the submission form so significantly. Many veterans are used to being independent and often eschew assistance, believing they can figure out the claims process on their own. The VA was, after all, created to assist veterans and not the other way around. These changes make that approach extremely problematic, if not impossible. The submission process is complicated enough already without changing the form.

Bradshaw and the suing parties believe there can be a standardized form but the VA should accept informal requests, as well. This would make the process of claim submission easier for veterans, particularly those who are unaware of the service officer program or those who believe they can figure the process out on their own. It would also complicate the process for VA claim approval and administration, which would theoretically in turn reduce the amount of approved submissions that come through the VA because of the additional miles claims representatives have to go just to decide whether the information submitted is complete enough for a claim. Without doubt, this is an example of a complex process becoming more complicated. Unfortunately, those who suffer from the change have already suffered and fought valiantly just to be qualified. It would seem the fight for American Veterans does not end when they come home.

Source: http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2015-Articles/VFW-Files-Suit-Against-VA/

 

Everything You Need to Know About Permanent Total Disability

Everything You Need to Know About Permanent Total Disability

Denver Disability Denver Workers Compensation

If you suffer from a work-related injury or illness, you have the right to receive social welfare support from the government for your medical care. Your hospital bill, however, is only just part of the price you pay for your injury. Since you are disabled, you are unable to perform your work – either totally or at an optimal level. As such, you also lose wages you could have earned had you not been injured.

This is the reason why under Colorado law, if you become disabled, you also have the right to be compensated for the value of the wages lost due to your work-related injury or illness. This social welfare support is paid until your disability is cured or you are able to return to work as normal.

But what if your condition does not improve? What if, even after all the medical treatments, your injury or illness continues to persist? In this case, what you are facing is a permanent disability.

When a Disability is Permanent

Your doctor will be the one to determine if you are permanently disabled. He or she will refer to what is known as Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), which just means that they’ve done all they can to improve your injury but it still persists. As this is the basic test for determining permanent disability, it would be best to consult a Denver disability lawyer or a Greeley disability attorney in order to guide you through this important step.

Even if you’ve reached your MMI, it doesn’t mean you’re automatically eligible for permanent total disability. This is because workers’ compensation benefits in Colorado provide support for either permanent partial or permanent total disability.

Related: Temporary Disability Benefits: What You Need To Know

You have a permanent partial disability when you have a permanent disability, but you are still able to work in one way or another. On the other hand, you have a permanent total disability when your injury or illness becomes such a significant burden on your life that you are totally unable to work.

If you think getting approved for permanent total disability benefits is much more difficult, you’re right. Just ask your Denver disability lawyer and he’ll tell you that the burden of proof is much heavier, which is why most cases in Colorado are for permanent partial disabilities.

Knowing the Process to Claim Workers Compensation

When you apply for permanent total disability benefits, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) from the Colorado Office of Administrative Courts will review your case by examining your condition and background. This judge will take into consideration your current skills, work experience, education, technical know-how, and training to assess whether you can hold down a job. He can also evaluate the current job market in order to determine whether any job opportunities are available.

Thus, you are more likely to receive permanent total disability benefits if you have limited work experience or education coupled with poor labor market conditions in the community you’re living in. As your case will rely on these case-to-case representations, it would be wise to seek advice from an experienced Denver workers’ compensation attorney or, more specifically, a Denver disability lawyer in order to boost your chances.

Once you are determined to have a permanent total disability, you have the choice to receive the benefits in weekly installments, in a lump sum payment, or in a combination of these two. These benefits will be paid for the rest of your life since your disability is judged as a permanent one. The rate at which they are paid is 2/3 of the injured worker’s average weekly wage.

Obtaining permanent total disability may seem like a difficult process, but with the right Denver disability lawyer by your side, you can rest assured that you can receive the benefits you are entitled to so that you can move on from your disability and live your life to the fullest. Contact our attorneys at Kaplan Morrell for a FREE CONSULTATION. Call us at (866) 356-9898

Worker’s Comp News: Passenger Killed in Auto Accident Involving RTD Transport

Worker’s Comp News: Passenger Killed in Auto Accident Involving RTD Transport

Denver Disability Denver Workers Compensation

A few weeks ago, a passenger in a crash was ejected and killed on I-225 in Colorado. Denver disability attorneys help clients who were injured or disabled in accidents but crashes, particularly fatal ones, are a different type of law. However, if an accident happens while on the way to work or during the course of one’s duties, disability lawyers might be able to make an argument that the crash was work-related, as long as the correlation between driving and working can be proven.

At about 4:45, Denver police responded to a rollover accident in I-225 and 6th avenue. The passenger was thrown from the driver’s car and neither were on the RTD bus. Both the passenger and the driver were taken to the hospital. While the passenger died, the driver has non-fatal or life-threatening injuries. The driver lost control of his car and neither the driver nor the passenger was wearing a seatbelt.

Related: Roadside Accident Had Worker Suffering for 5 years and Counting

Denver disability attorneys often receive questions about personal injury cases and how a person ought to receive care upon incident. Of course, the system is very complicated but extremely related to workmen’s compensation if the incident occurs during the course of an individual’s workplace duties. Once an accident occurs, insurance companies ought to be alerted as often, insurance will cover medical treatment and provide some compensation for lost wages. This system can be very difficult to navigate if a person is unfamiliar with the nebulous web of injury law. As in any case, it is best to defer to experienced experts in the field to resolve a question to the benefit of the injured party.

Workers’ Compensation can be difficult, confusing, and very complex. Kaplan Morrell has helped thousands of injured workers since 1997 get the benefits they deserve. Contact our Denver Disability attorneys here or call us at (866) 356-9898 for your free consultation.

 

Source: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_27842675/i-225-closures-aurora-due-crashes-accident-alert?source=top_stories_bar