Workers’ Compensation Benefits & Rights

Feb 01 2016

At Alverson + O’Brien, we will meet with you to learn about your injury, what steps you may have already taken and how the injury has impacted your ability to work. Our job is to make sure that your rights are protected and that you receive the benefits you are entitled to under the law. Benefits Available Under the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act Medical treatment: If you were injured on the job, you are eligible to receive all reasonable, necessary and related medical care needed to cure the injury. Temporary disability benefits: If a work injury causes you to miss…

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Construction continues to be one of the most dangerous professions

Jan 30 2016

Construction is a dangerous industry to work in. Workers may face serious injuries from falls, electrocution and other accidents. Construction is always going on in Denver around the year. With so much work, it is no surprise that accidents happen. The construction industry has long been known as one of America’s most dangerous jobs, and it appears that safety regulations are not always effective. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatal construction-related injuries rose by 6 percent in 2014. The construction industry held one of the top spots for fatal accidents that year. What are the fatal…

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The uphill battle for disease-related workers’ comp: Part II

Jan 29 2016

We are continuing a conversation in today’s post about occupational illness and the struggle for workers’ compensation benefits. By some estimates, the rate of deaths from occupational diseases is nine times higher than the rate of fatal workplace injuries. Yet injuries are far more likely to be compensated than occupational diseases are. Workers’ compensation was designed to be a “grand bargain” that allowed workers to be quickly compensated for workplace injuries or illnesses while shielding employers from potentially costly lawsuits. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation programs in most states have been weakened over time, making it more difficult for injured and ill…

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The uphill battle for disease-related workers’ comp: Part I

Jan 28 2016

In our last post, we wrote that occupational diseases are far more common – and far more deadly – than most people realize. Medical bills and other costs related to these diseases should be covered by workers’ compensation, but that often proves to be a steep, uphill battle for injured workers and their families. According to an analysis conducted in 2011, for every American who dies from a fatal workplace injury, nine workers die from an occupational disease. Yet injury claims are far more likely to be approved and paid than disease claims are. A 2004 study estimated that “more…

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Occupational diseases kill more Americans than gun violence does

Jan 25 2016

Workplace accidents and injuries are often the focus of conversations about workers’ compensation. This is probably due to the fact that these incidents are observable and have immediate consequences. What often gets lost in the conversation is discussion about work-related diseases and illnesses. Occupational diseases kill an estimated 50,000 Americans each year. By way of comparison, gun violence is responsible for about 30,000 deaths annually. But unlike gun deaths, occupational diseases often kill the victim slowly and out of public view. Family and friends may know that a loved one’s disease was work-related, but these deaths rarely make headlines or…

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Many benefits & protections lost in new, joint-employer economy

Jan 22 2016

Since the Great Recession (and before it, to some extent), American companies have been moving away from hiring and retaining full-time employees. Instead, American workers are increasingly being treated as temporary, part-time and expendable. Companies hire workers through temp agencies, with the understanding that the work could end at anytime and that the temp agencies would ultimately be responsible for most problems that arose. This is often a good way for companies to do business (from a financial standpoint), because they can scale up and down easily and don’t need to invest as much money in their workers. But more…

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Labor Dept. and DOJ team up to fight workplace safety violators

Jan 16 2016

Government regulations are necessary across many aspects of life. But regulations are only effective if they can be enforced. Lack of enforcement capability is a common complaint about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Although OSHA is certainly well-intentioned, its resources, manpower and authority are often limited. The agency often gets involved after a serious workplace accident or fatality, but by then the damage has already been done. Underfunding and understaffing make it a practical impossibility for OSHA inspectors to conduct preventive safety inspections for all (or even most) workplaces. Sadly, some employers boldly violate safety regulations because they know…

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Common reasons for denied workers’ compensation claims: Part II

Jan 12 2016

Last week, we began a discussion about denied workers’ compensation claims. There are many reasons why valid claims may be denied, including the worker’s failure to properly submit paperwork and handle other bureaucratic requirements. In today’s post, we’ll discuss other reasons why seemingly valid claims are sometimes denied. In many cases, these are challenges to either the severity of the reported injury or challenges to how it occurred. Workers’ compensation insurers sometimes deny claims after determining that the employee’s injuries may have been overstated. Concerns over fraud and abuse sometimes prompt insurers to deny claims that should be compensable, so…

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What adversely affects a workers’ compensation claim in Colorado?

Jan 10 2016

People filing for workers’ compensation benefits should be aware of the factors that could adversely affect their claim. Next year, many businesses in Colorado will see lower workers’ compensation premiums, which experts say is due in part to safer workplaces. According to The Daily Sentinel, programs that get injured workers back on the job quicker may also be credited for keeping costs low. While those improvements are good news, the truth is that injuries do still happen. Employees in Colorado who suffer an on-the-job injury should know the factors that will affect whether or not a claim is accepted or…

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Common reasons for denied workers’ compensation claims: Part I

Jan 06 2016

Workers’ compensation is supposed to be a fast and efficient way to resolve claims for injuries suffered on the job. When everything works as designed, injured workers are compensated without the need to sue their employer, and employers don’t spend valuable time and money defending themselves in court. Unfortunately, the claims process is not always a smooth one, usually to the disadvantage of the injured employee. Claims are sometimes denied, even if they are legitimate. In our next two posts, we’ll discuss some common reasons for claims denials. Insurance is a bureaucratic industry, and your claim may have been denied…

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