Eley Law Firm
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Workers’ Compensation
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Protecting the Rights of Injured Workers

Colorado Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Putting yourself back together: maximum medical improvement, part 1

In the old nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty famously fell off a wall – and putting him back together proved to not be possible at all.

But what if Humpty Dumpty suffered a fall at work and the marvels of modern medicine were able to put at least part of him back together? And how could a workers’ compensation claim help pay for the medical care?

In this two-part post, we will discuss the concept of maximum medical improvement (MMI) in workers’ comp cases.

Construction injuries and workers' comp: are contractors covered?

The construction industry is often thought of as an industry where the risk of injuries or even fatalities for workers is higher than others.

There is good reason for this perception. As we noted in our April 2 post, deaths in the construction industry occur far too frequently. In 2012 alone, there were 775 deaths in the private construction injury in the U.S.

Of course, not all who died were employees. Some were independent contractors. But as we will discuss in this post, Colorado law contains some very specific requirements on workers' compensation coverage for contractors.

Employer retaliation is possible, but don't be deterred by it

In our previous post, we tackled the issue of how to cope with stress when dealing with a work injury.

As we noted, there are many different symptoms that can arise from stress. But it is important to recognize them and try to manage them as best you can.

In this post, let's consider one potential source of anxiety for workers that can add to their stress when pursuing a workers' compensation claim. That potential anxiety is this nagging question: Will my employer retaliate against me in some way for filing a work comp claim?

work injuries and stress, part 2: managing symptoms

How do you manage the stress you are feeling about your work injury?

As we noted in part one of this post, the stress you are feeling is entirely understandable. After all, there are many uncertainties involved in recovering from work injuries.

This can cause stress symptoms of many different sorts, ranging from the physical (such as muscle pain) to the more intangible (such as difficulty in focusing your attention). It can also impact your behavior, perhaps by contributing to excessive use of alcohol or other drugs.

In this part of the post, we will discuss strategies for managing these symptoms of stress.

Work injuries and stress management, part 1: recognizing symptoms

Having to deal with a work injury is stressful for anyone.

After all, it is only normal to be stressed when you have been hurt at work and find a flood of thoughts going through your mind. You may be asking yourself question like these:

• How badly am I hurt?
• When can I go back to work?
• How much will all of this cost - and who pays for it?

These are only some of the questions that may be occurring to you. And to some degree, such questions are unavoidably stressful for most people

In this two-part post, we will discuss the importance of stress management in workers' compensation cases.

Whether you're famous or not, back pain can be a big problem

Back injuries happen to celebrities and to ordinary people alike.

Such pain is sometimes the price of our common humanity, as the species homo sapiens picks up the evolutionary torch earlier carried by homo erectus.

Sometimes, of course, this back pain is due to work injuries. And age is often a factor as well.

In any case, the announcement this week that high-profile golfer Tiger Woods would miss the Masters golf tournament due to back pain is a reminder of how pervasive the problem can be.

Death benefits for dependents after fatal work injuries

No one in Colorado needs to be reminded that horrific events can happen in any workplace. The deadly shootings at Columbine and in Littleton are agonizing evidence of that.

What probably isn't widely known, however, is just how frequent fatal work injuries can be.

In this post, we will take a look at some federal data about this. We will also touch upon the availability of death benefits for dependents as part of the workers' compensation system.

Healthcare workers and workplace hazards, part 2

Healthcare workers face all sorts of hazards on the job.

As we noted in the first part of this post, these hazards range from needlesticks (and possible hepatitis exposure) to back pain from lifting patients who are unable to get up (or into) bed on their own.

In this part of the post, let's dig a bit deeper into some of the risks of illness or injury that healthcare workers face.

Healthcare workers and work comp, part 1: big industry, many risks

The healthcare industry is a huge part of the national economy.

To be sure, there are many people who believe that costs are too high. And of course the country has been deeply divided over implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Still, it is undeniable that doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are a key component of the nation's workforce. In this two-part post, we will discuss some of the risks they face of on-the-job illnesses and injuries that may be covered by workers' compensation.

Workers' compensation and the taxman: Are benefits taxable?

For many Colorado families, the weeks leading up to April 15 can be very stressful. Of course, that day is noted as the deadline for filing their income tax returns. Knowing that this deadline is on the horizon, many people might be wondering what exactly they should consider taxable income.

For those who were injured on the job within the last year -- or even earlier -- and receive workers' compensation benefits, it may not be too clear how this income factors into tax filings. After all, receiving these benefits might represent all or a large share of a family's monthly income.

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