DENVER WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CASES: THEY CAN CLOSE WITHOUT YOU KNOWING
This week we had two heartbreaking appointments with two injured workers who were devastated when we told them that their claims were closed. Both of them were completely surprised, and each worker could could not have been more different.
Raul* has four years of schooling in Mexico. He does not speak, read or write English beyond a basic level that he used for work in the construction industry. Raul injured his left knee and lower back and received lost wages, medical care, and a small impairment rating that was to be paid out in checks every two weeks until mid-August 2012. He received a lot of papers from the insurance company. Concerned he asked his brother to look at a paper. His brother assured him that his case was still open and that he had until mid-August 2012 to decide whether to fight for more benefits.
His brother is not an attorney, and could not have been more mistaken.
Philip* has a College Degree and speaks, reads, and writes English fluently. Working for a national shipping company, he experienced abdominal hernia and testicular problems. He also received lost wages, medical care and an impairment rating. He did not worry about his claim being closed because he was still going to the doctors and workers’ compensation was still paying for the treatment.
He was wrong.
Colorado Workers’ Compensation is a very complicated area of the law. Often there are strict deadlines – some of which you are assumed to know – that once past – they can dramatically reduce your options and your benefits. Even in cases where the carrier gives an injured worker notice of a deadline, often it is obscured and hidden in a very technical document.
What happened to Raul and Philip shows that it does not matter if you speak English, are highly educated, or can read your mail. You can miss important deadlines without even knowing about it. This is why we recommend that you consult with an attorney immediately. Let the attorney worry about keeping your case open, helping you avoid complications and delays, and pursuing your benefits so that you can focus on getting better. We always offer FREE NO OBLIGATION initial consultations. When we can help we offer clients a contingent fee contract so that we do not collect attorney fees unless you prevail.
* We have changed the names to protect the privacy of our clients.