Reopening

Claimant Not Entitled to Temporary Disability Based on Alleged Worsening From Fentanyl Use Under C.R.S. § 8-43-303, a claim may be reopened on the grounds of error, mistake, or change in condition. A claimant bears the burden of proof to reopen a claim for any alleged worsening of condition and whether this burden has been [...]

Reopening 2019-04-01T11:08:51+00:00

Modified Offers of Employment

Nipping Wage Loss Claims in the Bud: What’s a Sufficient Modified Offer Under the Act? It is well-settled law in Colorado that an employer may terminate a claimant’s temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, without a hearing, when the attending physician issues a written release to return to modified employment, such employment is offered to the [...]

Modified Offers of Employment 2019-03-29T16:59:52+00:00

MMI: Rethinking Filing Applications to Challenge Opinion of Division IME

Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) cannot designate maximum medical improvement (MMI) date if authorized treating physician (ATP) and 24 month Division Independent Medical Examination (DIME) have not done so. Under C.R.S. § 8-42-107, an ATP shall make a determination as to when a claimant reaches MMI. If disputed by either party, then a DIME may be [...]

MMI: Rethinking Filing Applications to Challenge Opinion of Division IME 2019-04-01T11:06:51+00:00

Safety Rule Violation

The Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act provides for a 50% reduction in compensation benefits where the injury results from the claimant’s willful failure to obey a reasonable safety rule instated by the employer. A claimant’s conduct is “willful” if he or she intentionally does the forbidden act, regardless of whether the claimant had the rule “in [...]

Safety Rule Violation 2019-02-01T15:12:03+00:00

Appeals of Medical Utilization Reviews and Weight Afforded the MUR Panel

Under the Medical Utilization Reviews (“MUR”) provision of the Act, either the claimant or the respondents may seek review of a MUR panel’s recommendation and a Director’s order before an ALJ. When doing so, the conclusions of the MUR committee are “afforded great weight,” and the party disputing the finding by the MUR committee has [...]

Appeals of Medical Utilization Reviews and Weight Afforded the MUR Panel 2019-02-01T15:09:57+00:00

Conservator or Guardian Services to Permanently Disabled Employees

The principal purpose in requiring an employer to provide medical benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act is to allow an injured worked to reach maximum medical improvement and maintain that status. This is reflected in C.R.S. § 8-42-101(1)(A)’s language requiring “[e]very employer . . . [to] furnish such medical . . . treatment . . [...]

Conservator or Guardian Services to Permanently Disabled Employees 2019-02-01T08:27:51+00:00

Temporary Disability and Responsible For Termination

It is well settled that when a temporarily disabled employee is responsible for the termination of the employee’s employment, the resulting wage loss is not attributable to the on-the-job injury. The underlying policy as it applies to the Workers’ Compensation Act is to introduce the concept of “fault.” An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) utilizes this [...]

Temporary Disability and Responsible For Termination 2019-02-01T08:24:36+00:00

Repayment of Over-Payments

The claimant suffered a compensable injury. She told the claims representative that the injury resulted in an inability to work. Relying on the statements of the claimant, the respondents began paying temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. Despite claimant’s statements, she was actually working two jobs while also cashing TTD checks. In total, the claimant received [...]

Repayment of Over-Payments 2019-03-05T11:27:24+00:00

Temporary Total Disability

Termination for cause: Panel rejects its prior interpretations of Longmont Toyota to affirm award of temporary disability. A claimant is entitled to temporary total disability (TTD) benefits when an industrial injury caused the claimant’s wage loss. It follows that when a claimant is terminated for a volitional act (e.g., failing a drug test), the wage [...]

Temporary Total Disability 2019-01-21T15:06:40+00:00

Overcoming The Division Independent Medical Examination

Secret agent Claimant? Claimant’s surreptitious recording relied upon by ALJ to overturn Division Independent Medical Examination (DIME) opinion. Claimant sustained a compensable injury to her left knee and was eventually placed at maximum medical improvement (MMI) and rated. Respondents filed a final admission of liability consistent with the impairment rating opinion and claimant proceeded with [...]

Overcoming The Division Independent Medical Examination 2019-01-21T15:07:23+00:00