A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer’s Guide to Movies

Jul 6, 2015 | WC & Other Laws

A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer’s Guide to Movies – I love justice and the law, which is good because I am an attorney who has spent the last twenty years helping injured workers get the benefits they deserve under the law. I also love movies, and if I were a failure at being a lawyer, I would work somehow in movies. Since I love what I do helping injured workers and am very good at it, this blog is as close as I can get.

A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer’s Guide to Movies

Some combinations, like chocolate and peanut butter or the phone and the iPod, work well. Lawyers and Movies? Much less so. It is difficult to watch a movie without keeping an eye out for work injuries and wondering how they would be handled in the real world. I’ve learned to keep those thoughts to myself or this blog, otherwise I would get invited to even fewer parties.

It’s been twenty-two years since the original Jurassic Park series began, and fortunately for us, the fine folks at ImGen have learned nothing from the carnage and debacles of Jurassic Park and have opened a Disney-esque, Starbuck, Winstons, and Brookstone-speckled dinosaur theme park called Jurassic World.

Predictably the first third of the movie is all ooos and aaahs as we tour the fool-proof dinosaur containment paddocks until inevitably, the thumps, scrapes, roaring, running, and bleeding start again.

If Jurassic World starts as a dinosaur lover’s paradise – it ends as an injury lawyer’s candy store. This is only fair because the first Jurassic Park movie wasn’t particularly kind to lawyers.

The first sign of trouble begins with a laughably preventable work injury when a worker is flipped into the Velociraptor paddock after trying to lasso a squealing pig running away from the raptors. Hooking the pig, the raptor seizes the animal with such force that the worker is flipped over the catwalk and falls twenty feet into the pen with three raptors.

Safety Harnesses? Hard hats?

Jurassic World doesn’t need them. So casual is the Safety Program that having rescued the hapless worker, the Raptor Trainer only suggests that the reason the Park had an opening to hire him was because his predecessor was eaten.

Of course, Jurassic World is located on an island off of Costa Rica, so presumably, laws like OSHA and workers’ compensation are less rigid. However, most, if not all, of the Jurassic World employees appear to be imported from Europe, the United States, and other locations teeming with bored, slack-jawed Anglo teenagers.

RELATED TOPIC: Workers’ Compensation and OSHA

When the second act is in full swing, we have multiple work-related injuries, mutilations, and countless deaths. All of which – had they occurred in Colorado – would have been treated and compensated as work injuries.

Workers who die on the job are entitled to a funeral benefit unless they leave dependents. Spouses and children are deemed dependents. In those cases the children are entitled to two-thirds of their parent’s wages until reaching the age of nineteen. Spouses are entitled to that two-thirds until remarriage. Things get complicated when there are children from previous spouses. In that circumstance, the distribution of the deceased workers’ lost wage benefits can get complicated, and the children should have a different lawyer than the new spouse.

There were more deaths than I could count, but even the “minor” injuries, like missing limbs from bites, are covered. Workers’ compensation provides medical treatment, lost wages, disfigurement, and permanent impairment benefits. As with most situations, the company doing the paying – in this case, the insurance carrier – is trying to pay as little as possible so it helps injured workers to have someone just as experienced working to get the injured worker the most possible under the law.

We’re here to help.

Have you or a loved one suffered a workplace injury in Colorado? At Kaplan Morrell, we’re here to support you. Our expert team is just a call or text away at 970-356-9898. You can also easily reach out to a member of our Workers’ Compensation Claim team through our chat feature right here.

Rest assured, every consultation with us is not only free but also held in the strictest confidence. Let Kaplan Morrell guide you toward the peace of mind and benefits you deserve.

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