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Protecting the Rights of Injured Workers

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Insurance companies support workers’ compensation time limits

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone in Aurora that it is insurance companies that support restricting how long an individual has to apply for workers’ compensation benefits. Although there are many people in Colorado who have no problem meeting the time limits in place on Colorado workers’ compensation benefits, because they apply shortly after being injured. Sometimes, however, an injury will only manifest after the individual has moved on to a new job.

This wouldn’t necessarily be that big of a deal if the worker can point to his or her new position and find something that would cause his or her injury, but if it is clear that the medical condition was caused by a former job, the employee may be prohibited from collecting workers’ compensation because he or she applied too late. The one area where this has been especially prevalent is with football players and brain injuries.

For many of the professional football players who have suffered concussions while playing for their football teams, they fear developing some of the brain conditions plaguing older, retired players. The problem is, however, that it took a long time for these medical conditions to develop, and it is often past the Colorado workers’ compensation deadlines, severely limiting players’ abilities to collect benefits from workplace head injuries.

When questions of whether these limits should change arise, it is often insurance companies that are the first to protest extending or eliminating time limits. This only makes sense, as it is the insurance companies who stand to lose money the more workers’ compensation claims that are filed, but should employees’ health and financial stability be dependent upon whether insurance companies will lose some of its profits?

Source: The Huffington Post, “The California Bill That Leaves Injured Workers to Fend for Themselves,” Sarita Gupta, June 21, 2013

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