Archive for the ‘Workers Compensation’ Category

Workers comp claims rise with drop in worker safety

While workplace safety has improved over the years, there are still various industries where bad things happen because companies cut corners to save money. In Colorado, some of the worst safety and injury offenses occur in the homebuilding industry, with construction workers facing higher rates of nonfatal injury than other workers do. In fact, construction laborers have the seventh highest rate of nonfatal injury and illness that required days away from work of all occupations. According to a recent Denver Business Journal report, accident frequency has steadily increased among construction workers along with the growth in new construction projects. This may be due to the explosive rise in homebuilding in the Denver metro region as area builders try to keep pace with the influx of new residents. Housing starts in the Denver area jumped 31 percent at the end of 2015, which represents the biggest jump in decades. But with all this building comes more injuries.
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Employers look for new ways to cut workers’ compensation benefits

In Colorado, on average there are more than 2,500 work-related hospitalizations annually, and one worker dies every three to four days due to an occupational injury or illness. To make matters worse, employers are searching for new ways to save money on workers’ compensation claims, since under the law they are required to foot the bill for the insurance to cover their employees. While many employers have falsely claimed that their costs are out of control, in fact, employers are paying the lowest rates for workers’ compensation since the 1970s. And since 2003, legislators in 33 states have passed workers’ compensation laws that actually reduce benefits or make it more difficult for those with certain injuries and diseases to qualify for them.
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Workers compensation may not be helping injured workers meet their needs

Until recently, America’s workers could rely on a compact struck at the dawn of the Industrial Age: in exchange for giving up their right to sue an employer if injured on the job, their employers would pay their medical bills and enough of their wages to help them get by while they recovered. However, this has changed in recent years. Studies show that states have been drastically cutting compensation to the point that some injured workers will actually plummet into poverty. Even worse, many workers often battle insurance companies for years to get the necessary surgeries, prescriptions, and basic medical care their doctors recommend. This while employers are paying the lowest rates for workers compensation insurance since the 1970s. In fact, in 2013, insurers had their most profitable year in over a decade, bringing in a hefty 18 percent return. Moreover, in Colorado, for the first time since 2010, employers will see no overall rise in their workers compensation premiums this year. What this means for injured workers is that many claims are being denied or pressure is being put on workers to lower costs.

While workers compensation provides a safety net for workers injured on the job, according to industry estimates, nearly 10 percent of all workers compensation claims are fraudulent, which costs insurers $5 billion each year. And although one in four Americans think it’s okay to defraud insurers, what this means to you is that the average U.S. household pays an additional $200 to $300 in health and related insurance premiums every year to offset the cost of fraud. Workers compensation fraud occurs when a claimant, employer, or health care provider knowingly lies in order to gain an advantage, savings, money, or other benefit. While many people believe that workers compensation fraud solely consists of employees lying about or exaggerating their injuries, this type of fraud also can involve employers.

However, a recent ProPublica and NPR investigation shows that few of the cuts were actually driven by concerns about fraud, which is estimated to account for only a small percentage of the $60 billion spent on workers compensation each year. And studies show that most of the money lost to fraud results not from workers actually making false claims but from employers misclassifying workers and underreporting payrolls to get cheaper insurance rates. In fact, the reduction in benefits has been driven largely by big businesses and insurers, which cite out-of-control costs. But the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that while businesses are paying record-low rates for their employees’ workers compensation insurance, the actual costs are being shifted to employees, who shell out an estimated $30 billion a year in medical costs and lost wages not covered by workers compensation insurance.

“We think it’s very important for states to ensure that workers who are injured and made sick on the job get full compensation,” says David Michaels, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. “It does appear that there is right now a race to the bottom.”

If you or a loved one were injured on the job and need help receiving the benefits you deserve, contact an expert Colorado workers compensation lawyer who can explain your rights and get you the compensation and medical care you are entitled to under the law.

Denver Workers’ Compensation Attorney – Carlos Davila Case

Video Transcription
The insurance company was mistreating me. The first time they offered me just a little bit for all my minors, broke my jaw. I got a plates, a metal plate on my jaw, hearing aids, plus my back is out. By the second time when I got hurt at work again that is when I decided to get a lawyer and I think that was the best decision in my life that I did. A hundred percent your firm, you guys treated me excellent. I talked to you guys every time I called, I got somebody talking to me. If there wasn’t somebody in the office that couldn’t take my call and they would call me back and they would call me on the same day right away. Thank you for everything. Thank you for the knowledge and the care that you guys put in my place. Well if you guys get hurt, remember you guys cannot fight these cases this by yourself. You don’t know nothing about the law, get a lawyer and these lawyers (Bachus & Schanker) are the best in Colorado.

Denver Workers’ Compensation Attorney – Carlos Davila Case

Top 5 Tips You Need to Know Before you File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Colorado

Each year, nearly 28,000 Colorado employees file a workers compensation claim to recover lost wages and medical costs associated with a workplace injury. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance coverage employers are required to provide employees who are injured on the job or develop occupational diseases. To be covered by workers compensation, you must be an employee, and be accidentally injured on the job, or got sick from doing your job. This insurance pays for medical expenses and partial wage replacement during periods of temporary disability. The cost of workers’ compensation insurance is paid entirely by the employer and may not be deducted from an employee’s wages.

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Understanding Workers Compensation in Colorado

Worker’s compensation refers to a no-fault insurance program offered by the state of Colorado. The legislation was put into effect in 1915 and is available to the majority of Colorado employees. The guidelines and rules involved with the program continually undergo alterations designed to better accommodate injured workers and take into consideration ever-changing medical practices and treatments.
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Common Workplace Injury Myths

Three popular misconceptions about safety at work

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, a worker is injured in the workplace every seven seconds. Of course the injuries vary from industry to industry with these numbers:

  • 7.8 per 100,000 workers in the transportation and warehouse industry
  • 6.8 per 100,000 workers in the manufacturing industry
  • 5.3 per 100,000 in the retail trade industry
  • 2.5 per 100,000 workers in the professional and business services sector — where believe it or not, repetitive stress injuries (due to prolonged sitting and computer use) are the fourth leading cause of serious workplace injuries

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Pinnacol Assurance Continues to Make Headlines

DENVER–January 18, 2011–Pinnacol Assurance, a state government subdivision that provides worker’s compensation insurance continues to appear in the spotlight, more than six months after it was first called out for irresponsible financial activity.

The organization first made headlines in March 2010 when the Colorado Legislature considered tapping nearly a quarter of Pinnacol’s $2 billion surplus to balance the state budget. While this idea was eventually abandoned, Pinnacol didn’t stay out of the news for long.
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Preparing for the Dangers of a Summer Job

Before taking on a summer job, college students need to be aware of on-the-job-dangers and how to prepare for them. As teenagers, taking on jobs such as babysitting, or doing chores around the house, it might not be conceivable to them that a job can be dangerous. But once they reach college and summer jobs become more of a necessity, young adults need to understand the potential dangers, but even more, they need to understand what they’re entitled to if they are injured while working.

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If You’ve Been Injured at Work

If you’ve been injured at work, no matter how minor the injury may seem at first, it is important to contact a law office that specializes in workers’ compensation claims immediately. The moments and days after an injury occurs are crucial and vital to an injured worker’s situation. There are many dangers involved in waiting to learn about your rights.

Many individuals believe that waiting until the injury “cools off” is the proper course of action. As many doctors will tell you, the true extent of an injury is not always known at first. Also, an injury that seems minor initially may worsen over time to the point where it becomes a major problem.

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