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Medical Benefits Archives

First responders can now get benefits for PTSD

It took years of work, but with the signing of H.B. 17-1229 last month, first responders and other workers in Colorado can now get workers' compensation benefits for job-related post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Colorado thus joins a small number of states that recognize PTSD as a compensable work illness.

Get vital information into your medical record

Some types of work injuries are obvious. When a worker breaks an arm in a fall or suffers burns in an explosion, there is physical proof of the injury. But the effects of an injury that causes back pain, or a concussion, or a repetitive stress injury may not be so apparent. Because workers' compensation insurance companies wish to keep their claim costs low, they may try to limit benefits for these kinds of injuries, or deny some claims altogether.

Can construction workers receive workers' compensation and disability benefits?

Construction employees work around hazards such as tall heights, heavy equipment, and sharp tools. When accidents happen the injuries can be worse than in most professions. These injuries will have a major impact on daily life and can last a long time. When employees see that their workers' compensation benefits are not what they need then many ask, "Can I get both workers' compensation and disability benefits?"

Medical benefits are part of injured Colorado workers' rights

When an employee is injured on the job, he or she may have need of medical treatment. It may be difficult for the employee to manage this treatment for many reasons that involve the employer, the employer's insurance company and even the medical professionals charged with the employee's care. At The Eley Law Firm in Denver, we strive to help Colorado employees understand the provisions of medical benefits and how it ties in to injured workers' rights.

Factory worker critically injured in coal-plant explosion

Coal is a highly combustible material and anyone in Colorado who works with coal or at a coal-burning power plant knows just how dangerous the stuff can be. Just because an employee has to deal with potentially dangerous materials all day long does not mean, however, that it is acceptable for employers to be anything short of vigilant in regard to employee safety. Sadly, accidents do happen, however, and when they do, injured Colorado employees are entitled to medical benefits to help with recovery.

A Cause of Unnecessary Litigation

Medical benefits seem to be a constant fight in workers compensation cases.  I just finished a deposition of a doctor who performed an independent medical examination of my client, who suffers from a knee injury. While they call it "independent" there is nothing independent about it. This doctor is very dependent on insurance company business and is used frequently by various defense attorneys. My client needs to lose weight in order to get the maximum benefit of the knee surgery that the doctor has performed. This is the opinion of her orthopedist. The doctor has prescribed a weight loss program which the insurance carrier refuses to authorize. It's commonly accepted that excess weight can cause problems with joints and that this can also reduce the effectiveness of surgery. Still, the carrier is willing to spend money on an examination, go to hearing and also pay for the deposition of their doctor. This is much more expensive than the program they are contesting. Even at the deposition their doctor admitted on cross-examination that the results would probably be better if the patient lost weight. I asked the respondents' attorney why they would spend so much more on denying the program than the program actually costs. The response was that if they approved this, everyone that hurt their knee would want a weight-loss program. So it appears that this is some kind of line in the sand for them. Of course, doctors make treatment recommendations all the time. That's part of the job. In my experience they do it based on good medicine, not just because a patient asks for it. My client is very overweight and would greatly benefits from the program. Still, the carrier is too worried about some mythical claimant out there somewhere than to actually provide treatment for someone who really needs it. Insurance companies frequently complain about unnecessary litigation when in fact, they often are the cause of the litigation. This one certainly is.  For on medical benefits go to: http://www.eleylawfirm.com/Colorado-Workers-Comp/Medical-Benefits.shtml

Changes in Colorado Workers Compensation Act

The Colorado Workers Compensation Act went through some changes during the last legislative session. They are not the kind of sweeping changes that were put into effect by industry back in 1990. However, since then, we've been able to battle back a little at a time. This year's changes were small, but they were all good for injured workers. Here is a summary:

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Eley Law Firm
2000 S. Colorado Blvd. No. 2-740
Denver, CO 80222

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