Employer’s First Report of Injury and Statute of Limitations

A claim for workers’ compensation must generally be filed within two years of the alleged injury. The limitation period commences when the claimant, as a reasonable person, should recognize the nature, seriousness, and probable compensable character of the injury. This two-year statute of limitations deadline may be extended for one additional year if the claimant [...]

Employer’s First Report of Injury and Statute of Limitations 2019-05-31T16:30:21+00:00

Bad Faith: Causation and Expert Testimony

To establish causation in a bad faith breach of an insurance contract, the plaintiff must prove the insurer acted unreasonably and the insured’s unreasonable conduct caused the plaintiff’s injury or damages. To do this, the plaintiff must show the defendant’s conduct “proximately caused” the claimed injury. Proximate cause is comprised of two components: causation in [...]

Bad Faith: Causation and Expert Testimony 2019-05-31T14:15:50+00:00

Issue Preclusion: Winning the Issue at the Permanent Partial Stage Does Not Mean it’s Binding at the PTD Stage

Issue preclusion is the theory that “once a court has decided an issue necessary to its judgment, the decision precludes re-litigation of that issue in a later action involving a party to the first case. Issue preclusion bars re-litigation of an issue if: (1) the issue sought to be precluded is identical to an issue [...]

Issue Preclusion: Winning the Issue at the Permanent Partial Stage Does Not Mean it’s Binding at the PTD Stage 2019-05-31T15:33:43+00:00

Overpayments: Division IME Backdating MMI

Pursuant to C.R.S. § 8-40-201(15.5), there are three possible categories of overpayments: the first category is when a claimant receives money “that exceeds the amount that should have been paid”; the second category is for money received that a “claimant was not entitled to receive”; and the final category is money received that “results in [...]

Overpayments: Division IME Backdating MMI 2019-05-31T14:12:07+00:00

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