Top Ten Most Costly Work Injuries Of 2016

Top Ten Most Costly Work Injuries Of 2016

Denver Workers Compensation Workers Compensation Blog

The Liberty Mutual Research Institute revealed 2016’s top ten causes of the most costly work injuries.

Here they are:

1. Overexertion involving outside sources. $13.79 Billion (Examples include lifting, pushing, pulling objects.)

2. Falls on the same level. $10.62 Billion (Slip and falls on slippery surfaces)

3. Falls to a lower level.  $5.50 Billion (Scaffold, ladder, stair falls)

4. Struck by Object or Equipment. $4.43 Billion

5. Other Exertions or Bodily Reactions. $6.5 Billion

6. Roadway incidents involving motorized vehicles.  $3.7 Billion

7.  Slip or trip without fall.  $3.8 Billion

8. Caught in/Compressed by Equipment or Objects. $1.95 Billion

9.  Struck against object or equipment.  $1.94 Billion

10. Repetitive Motions involving micro-tasks. $1.81 Billion.

Some work injuries cost more because of the nature of the injury.  Injuries requiring surgery will be more costly, not simply because of the medical care, but also because of the additional lost time during the recovery.  Injuries from lifting, in this study, may be more costly simply because those kinds of injuries are more common and numerous.  The injuries in this study included only those injuries where the employee missed six or more days of work.

When you’ve been injured on the job in Colorado, your primary concern is getting healed and back to your life. For the vast majority of injured workers that happens, but some workers sustain serious injuries that continue to interfere with their lives.  We’re here to help seriously injured works get the medical care and the Colorado Workers’ Comp benefits they deserve.  Don’t wonder, “What are my rights under Colorado Workers Compensation?”  Instead, call us and meet with an experienced Denver Workers’ Compensation attorney for a free consultation. Let us help with filing your Colorado Workers’ Comp claim- we can help get it approved.

 

 

 

Source:  http://imag e.email-libe rtymutual.com/lib/fe541570726d02757312/m/1 /2017+WSI.pdf

Five Ways You Get Screwed In Your Work Injury – And Don’t Even Know It

Five Ways You Get Screwed In Your Work Injury – And Don’t Even Know It

Denver Disability Denver Workers Compensation Workers Compensation Blog

Because we offer free consultations, we meet with injured workers every week. After twenty-one years of doing this, I am struck by how often these hard-working men and women mistakenly think they are dealing with people who are trying to be fair and honest. The reality is that almost everyone involved with a work related injury has one goal: get the injury done and over with as quickly and cheaply as possible.

So the injured worker waits until they think they “need” an attorney. The problem is workers don’t see how they are being short-changed now. When injured workers tell me they want to wait because they think everything is going okay – I ask them these five questions to show them that they are already being taken advantage of without even knowing it.

1. When you were injured did your employer give a paper that allowed you to choose one of four suggested doctors?

Except in a few rare cases, when you are injured on the job – the employer has to give you the names of four unrelated medical clinics and you get to choose. If your employer does not do this immediately – you have the right to select your own doctor. In workers compensation the doctors are given tremendous power over what kind and amount of benefits you receive. If your employer told you to go to one particular clinic – you got short-changed without even knowing it.

2. Did the adjuster let you know to keep track of your mileage and submit it for reimbursement?

Under Colorado Workers’ Compensation law you are not only entitled to have 100% of your medical care covered – but you are entitled to be reimbursed (currently 53 cents a mile) for mileage to and from medical appointments. This quickly adds up to hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars.

3. Are you told you have to clock out for medical appointments – or worse – told you can’t schedule medical appointments during work hours?

There are so many medical appointments you can have – doctors, specialists, physical therapy, diagnostic, and chiropractic that you will just have appointments during your work. If you have to clock out for your medical appointments – you are entitled to two-thirds of your lost wages. Most employers don’t tell you this and some employers insist that you can’t schedule appointments during the work week. This may be illegal and Administrative Law Judges take a very dim view of employers interfering with medical care.

4. How was your average weekly wage collected?

The adjuster will average your earnings prior to the injury and admit to an Average Weekly Wage (AWW) and pay lost wage and permanent impairment benefits are based on that AWW. At least 70% of the time we calculate a higher AWW than the adjuster. That’s because we dig beyond the numbers. We look at seasonal changes in the wages, bonuses, raises, lost benefits, and in some cases we can get the AWW increased for increased wages after the injury.

5. Have you been told to change doctor or wait longer than ten days for medical care to be approved?

You are treating with Dr. X – but now the insurance carrier tells you that you have to change – or that Dr. X is no longer “authorized” to treat workers’ compensation injuries. You are waiting for an MRI, or therapy, or a surgical consult – but everyone is waiting for it to get authorized … and the weeks drag on. In workers’ compensation the carrier must advise you in writing whenever treatment is denied within seven business days of the request for authorization. The carrier does not have the right to change your doctor.

We help injured workers like you focus on what’s important – healing up and taking care of your body so that you can pursue your dreams and support your family. Don’t trust people whose job it is to pay as little as possible on your claim to do what’s right by you. You need someone in your corner. Get in touch with Denver Workers Compensation attorney for a free consultation on your case.

Rates for Insurance Companies Going Down: Will Work Comp Insurance Be More Widespread?

Rates for Insurance Companies Going Down: Will Work Comp Insurance Be More Widespread?

Denver Disability Denver Workers Compensation

 

Business owners with a certain number of employees are required by state law in Colorado to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Period. If having workers’ compensation insurance and giving benefits to all injured workers were the same thing, however, workers’ compensation attorneys wouldn’t be needed. Businesses struggle with the workers’ compensation insurance requirement, particularly in high-risk businesses like manufacturing or construction.

This leads to all kinds of problems for workers, including being misrepresented as an independent contractor instead of an employee or being denied benefits because they’re told they weren’t acting in the course and scope of their work duties when they were injured. This much space for argument makes workers’ compensation attorneys vital to the system because workers, particularly when injured, shouldn’t have to try to understand the system when they should be focused on feeling better.

Businesses in Colorado have more of an incentive to buy workers’ compensation insurance than ever. Since 2012, insurance premiums have grown faster than losses. For Colorado workers’ compensation lawyers, that means companies are paying less for the workers’ compensation premiums the companies pay. In October of 2015, the Colorado Division of Insurance cut the average loss cost of premiums almost 2%. The premium average cost was a flat rate from 2014 through 2015.

RELATED: Colorado Workers Compensation: Reporting Within Time Prescribed To Be Entitled To Compensation

What does this mean for workers? Well, in general, this means workers are reporting fewer injuries on the job. Since workers are reporting fewer injuries, insurance compensation companies are paying out less money in medical benefits, wage loss, and overall compensation, so workers’ compensation insurance is getting cheaper. Colorado’s Commissioner of Insurance, Marguerite Salazar, says “this positive development comes from the work by employers and employees to better manage workers’ compensation costs.” Essentially, workers and workplaces are getting safer or more workers are choosing to not report compensable injuries because of pressure from their jobs.

Often, a workers’ compensation claim damages the relationship between an employee and employer. This is a natural and unfortunate consequence of the system. If the system were perfect, workers and their employers would be able to maintain a strong relationship even after an injured worker recovers and wants to return to work. But insurance premiums go up if the insurance policy is tapped regardless of the reason so employers can sometimes see people who file for workers’ compensation as antagonistic to a degree. Especially when the employer is smaller and doesn’t have as many workers to take care of, employers can tend to see someone filing a workers’ compensation claim as a personal attack on a small business.

Workers, on the other hand, deserve the right to visit doctors and seek medical treatment for injuries they suffer on the job. That’s why the workers’ compensation system exists. It is a no-fault system so as long as the injuries are reported the right way at the right time and qualify, fault shouldn’t factor into treatment. The push and pull between employers and employees makes Workers’ Compensation a difficult field to navigate without insulting everyone involved.

In 2015, accident frequency in the workplace in Colorado went up. More inexperienced workers in the workplace due to a stronger United States economy means jobs with high hazards have had higher amounts of work-related injuries since 2012. From 2012 to 2013 alone, work-related construction injuries that were non-fatal went up 9.5 percent. Older workers are also staying at their jobs longer with retirement ages going up and work injuries reflect this trend. From 2012 to 2013, the frequency of accidents reported for workers 65 years and older rose almost 20 percent.

Not only are accidents getting more frequent, they are becoming more severe. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on-the-job construction fatalities from 2013 to 2014 rose almost 10 percent. Hospital and prescription costs are rising more quickly than inflation. These are the main costs for workers’ compensation claims.

So how is workers’ compensation insurance in Colorado becoming, as a whole, cheaper? One answer is the interaction between workers and the workers’ compensation system. It’s understandable that workers would hesitate to report injuries. People love their jobs and want to keep them. But without treatment for medical injuries sustained on the job, uninsured workers will have no recourse for treatment. And without use, the system will atrophy and eventually disappear, which takes out one of the most important safeguards for workers on the job that exist in Colorado today.

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 at (866) 356-9898 for your free consultation to review your workers’ compensation case.

 

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2016/03/10/3-signs-of-trouble-ahead-for-workers-compensation.html

Injured Workers Pharmacy: Shortage of Acetaminophen with Codeine

Injured Workers Pharmacy: Shortage of Acetaminophen with Codeine

Denver Disability Denver Workers Compensation Social Security Blog Workers Compensation Blog

Our partners at Injured Workers Pharmacy (IWP) notified us that there is a country-wide shortage of Acetaminophen with Codeine. As a result, many (if not all) pharmacies are no longer able to fill Acetaminophen with Codeine #2, Acetaminophen with Codeine #3 and Acetaminophen with Codeine #4.

· There is a shortage throughout the country, and it is not available from wholesalers or the manufacturer. This is due, in part, to the change in prescribing patterns as a result of the reclassification of Hydrocodone to a Schedule 2.

Colorado Injured Workers Pharmacy Explained

· IWP expects it to be available in the spring. Until then, injured Colorado workers should alert physicians of this change and ask that they send an appropriate alternative medication for the patient and injury type.

· If IWP receives a script for any of the Acetaminophen with Codeine combinations which are mentioned above, a pharmacist will call the doctor’s office to request a substitution.

For additional information or questions on this shortage, please contact an IWP pharmacist at 888-321-7945.

Kaplan Morrell is dedicated to helping injured and disabled workers in Colorado. Our Greeley and Denver work injury attorneys have over fifty years of combined experience helping the community.

 

OSHA To Start Cracking Down On Companies Exposing Workers To Hazardous Chemicals?

OSHA To Start Cracking Down On Companies Exposing Workers To Hazardous Chemicals?

Denver Disability Denver Workers Compensation Social Security Blog Workers Compensation Blog

The Occupational Health Administration has launched a new conversation with companies whose workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals. The standards set by the US Department of Labor are dangerously out of date. As technology moves forward, workers are exposed to new environmental toxins and as a result are increasingly at risk when standards protecting workers are not updated.

Most of the PELs—limits on concentration or amount of a toxic substance in a work environment. Literally, Permissible Exposure Limits—cover less than 500 chemicals and have not been renewed since 1971. The less than 500 PELs were adopted at the inception of the program and have not been updated to account for new technologies or research that has changed what is considered safe.

Colorado Workers Compensation News: Colorado Workers Have The Right To A Safe Work Environment

The first step OSHA is taking is to request information about how to mitigate hazardous exposure, minimize risk to employees in the workplace, and how to update exposure limits. Twenty five states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands have added their own standards and enforcement policies in addition to OSHA’s.

Workers may be exposed daily to hazardous chemicals on the job and the outdated standards set by OSHA might offer little to no protection. The Administration is working to change the standards but in order for the new standards to be effective, people need to speak out when they feel they’ve been injured as a result of exposure.

Workers’ Compensation can be difficult, confusing, and very complex. Kaplan Morrell has helped thousands of injured workers since 1997 get the benefits they deserve.  If you’ve suffered injury or illness due to chemical exposure, contact our Denver Workers Compensation Attorneys – call (866) 356-9898 for your free consultation.

Source: www.environmentallleader.com/2014/10/13/chemical-exposure-standards-dangerously-out-of-date-osha-says/

If I am injured outside the state is my injury covered by Colorado Workers’ Compensation?

Workers Compensation Blog

The Colorado law covers all injuries that occur outside the state if the worker was hired in Colorado or regularly employed in our state.  Whether someone was “hired” in Colorado has become less clear in our age of fax, emails, skype, and telecommuting.  A Judge will consider a number of facts, including where the contract was formed, place where the offer was accepted, where the employer representatives who did the hiring were located, the intention of the parties, and where the last act necessary to the meeting of the minds or to complete the contract occurs.

So it is possible to have a Colorado work injury without having been physically present in Colorado.

So long as the injury occurs within six months of leaving (or being hired) in Colorado – then Colorado Law governs the benefits an injured worker receives.

As always, how this or any other case we discuss in this blog would apply to your case depends on many more factors.  We urge you to call us to see if you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.  Workers Compensation is 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. 

Cite:  Huffman v. Multiple Concrete and Farmington Casualty Company, WC 4-876-455 (Feb. 20, 2013).

Colorado Workers Compensation: Reporting within time prescribed to be entitled to compensation

Colorado Workers Compensation: Reporting within time prescribed to be entitled to compensation

Workers Compensation Blog

In a recent incident, a man was injured when one of the propane tanks being used in the construction site leaked. According to a CBS report, when he lit up the heater, it exploded. The man suffered burn injuries and was immediately rushed to the hospital. The worker was one of the construction crews who were working on a backyard pool in Cherry Hills Village.

Construction site injuries are not unusual incidents. Due to the nature of construction jobs, workers are often exposed to risk of accidents. When you get hurt while working, like when you suffer a life or limb threatening injury, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

When to Report Injury

An injury is life or limb threatening if it endangers a portion of one’s body or puts his life at risk in such a way that the person should seek prompt medical care. Such care is needed in order to prevent serious damage or death.

When injury occurs at work, notify your supervisor or employer immediately. Do this within four working days after the incident and make sure to report the incident in writing. Non-reporting within the period required may result to losing a day of compensation for each day’s delay.

Under Colorado laws, in case of disagreement as to the entitlement if the injured worker to receive compensation benefits, it is the worker who has the burden of proving that he is entitled to them. There are various reasons why a worker’s claim may be denied by the insurance company. For instance, the worker did not provide complete and accurate information. Another is because the insurance company believes that the injury is not work-related.

If the insurance company denies your claim, the consequence is that you would be paying all your medical bills. Because of this, it is important that you properly observe the rules of procedure when you suffer a work-related injury. Time limits have to be followed. In case of disagreements, you need to prove by preponderance of evidence that the injury occurred while at work.

If you have suffered an injury while at work and are unsure of what to do, or if you want to know more about workers compensation benefits, consult a workers compensation attorney now. Kaplan Morrell’s attorneys have been helping employees with their compensation-related concerns for more than 15 years. Call us at 866-356-9898. Trust only the best and experienced. Contact us today and stand up for your right!