Workers’ Compensation Subrogation – Expect a Push to Settle Subrogation Claims

The Colorado Supreme Court has held that an alleged at fault third party, who settles a Workers’ Compensation Subrogation lien or claim, under C.R.S. § 8-41-203, extinguishes the injured employee’s claim entirely for past medical expenses that were paid for under the Workers’ Compensation Act. This holding will create a significant incentive for at-fault [...]

Workers’ Compensation Subrogation – Expect a Push to Settle Subrogation Claims 2021-04-21T07:59:35+00:00

Colorado Legislative Session

We are now over a month into the 2021 session and it appears much has returned to closer to normal, at least at the Capitol. A number of bills have been introduced that effect the administration of workers’ compensation claims. HB21-1050 was introduced to making sweeping changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act. The main [...]

Colorado Legislative Session 2021-04-21T07:35:22+00:00

The Panel cannot interfere with ALJ credibility determinations except in extreme circumstances

In Venagas, the claimant worked for the employer as a roofer. On January 17, 2018, the claimant was placing material on a steep roof. The rope securing him to the roof broke and he fell 30 feet to the ground. The claimant sustained injuries to his head, his right shoulder, his pelvis, his right [...]

The Panel cannot interfere with ALJ credibility determinations except in extreme circumstances 2021-04-21T07:31:19+00:00

Statute of Limitations is an affirmative defense and it is Respondents’ duty to prove that the claimant was aware of the seriousness of the injury

In Mestas, Respondents alleged that the claimant’s claim for benefits for hearing loss was barred by the statute of limitations. The claimant had worked as a firefighter for approximately 39 years, retiring on June 1, 2017. The claimant filed a workers’ claim for compensation on July 23, 2019 for bilateral hearing loss due to [...]

Statute of Limitations is an affirmative defense and it is Respondents’ duty to prove that the claimant was aware of the seriousness of the injury 2021-04-21T07:29:05+00:00

The Scope of the Quasi-Course of Employment Doctrine

In a recent appeal, the Industrial Claim Appeals Office (the Panel) determined whether injuries sustained subsequent to an initial incident are considered compensable under the quasi-course of employment doctrine, when the initial incident was not compensable. In Salazar, the claimant worked in the tree trimming and removal business. On January 10, 2020, the claimant [...]

The Scope of the Quasi-Course of Employment Doctrine 2021-04-21T07:27:11+00:00

Physicians may use an evaluative process when determining an impairment rating

Colorado Revised Statute, § 8-42-101, subsections (3)(a)(I) and (3.7), states that in workers’ compensation cases, physical impairment ratings “shall be based on” the revised third edition of the American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides). In Fisher, the Colorado Court of Appeals (the Court) considered whether the phrase “shall [...]

Physicians may use an evaluative process when determining an impairment rating 2021-04-21T07:24:22+00:00

Supreme Court revisits test for common law marriage.

In Hogsett v. Neale, the Colorado Supreme Court (the Supreme Court) revisits the test for proving a common law marriage that was articulated in People v. Lucero, 747 P.2d 660 (Colo. 1987). In the original Lucero test, the court held that a couple could establish a common law marriage “by the mutual consent or [...]

Supreme Court revisits test for common law marriage. 2021-04-21T07:20:58+00:00

Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation

On January 1, 2021, the revamped WCRP 16 and 18 became effective. The central changes to Rule 16 are clarifications of the pre-authorization process: Under the new Rule, again effective January 1, 2021, respondents shall have 10 days (rather than the prior seven business days) to review a request for pre-authorization. The other main change [...]

Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation 2021-02-26T14:34:51+00:00

Respondents are not directing medical care or treatment by setting demand appointments with the authorized treating provider.

In Fitzsimmons, the authorized treating provider (“ATP”) had determined that the claimant was at MMI; however, the ATP did not provide an impairment rating. Respondents set several demand appointments and there was evidence that the claimant was properly notified of each appointment. After claimant failed to attend the demand appointments twice, Respondents filed a motion [...]

Respondents are not directing medical care or treatment by setting demand appointments with the authorized treating provider. 2021-02-26T14:22:55+00:00

Horse boarding is not included in calculation of average weekly wage and is not a fringe benefit.

In Flores, the ALJ ordered that the average weekly wage (“AWW”) calculation for the claimant include a fringe benefit. Here, the ALJ included the value the claimant derived from boarding his multiple horses with his employer. Respondents sought review of this order with the Industrial Claim Appeals Office (the “Panel”). Respondents argued that the claimant’s [...]

Horse boarding is not included in calculation of average weekly wage and is not a fringe benefit. 2021-02-26T14:17:49+00:00