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Ongoing Injury Colorado

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  • Ongoing Injury Colorado

    My Husband has been working for the same employer for about 21 years. He is an Auto Technician and works with his hands everyday. Several years ago he started having paid in his elbow. He went to our Dr. who gave him Cortizone injections. Over the past several years he has had injections multiple times in both elbows and had been diagnosed with "tennis elbow". Unfortunately the Cortizone relief was short lived, and now possibly faces surgery on his elbows. He filed a work comp claim for his elbows. They are thinking about denying it because he had already been seen by his own Dr.

    He only went to our Dr. becuae in the beginning it was slight, and he really didn't think about it, now that it bad and the surgery is probable, he thought about work comp.

    What are the laws here that would protect my husband?

  • #2
    Unfortunately the fact that he has been treating for years with his own physician and has not reported it as a work injury more than likely will place this in the category of a pre-existing condition and he has probably passed the statute of limitations. Had it been reported as work related when it first occured, it would likely be covered now.

    WC takes a very dim view of employees only filing comp claims when the sitaution worsens and requires major intervention. That isn't the purpose of WC.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

    Comment


    • #3
      Unfortunately, it is not like it wa an 'incident' that just occurred. It was something that devolped over a long period of time. How can you report something like that?

      Comment


      • #4
        When it first starts requiring medical attention and is believed to be work related it needs to be reported. Years later after treating outside the system, which essentially is the same as declaring that it is not a work related injury, caliming it under WC only once you find out there is a need for surgery and lost time from work, doesn't cut it. It may not be intentional on your part, but you do have both the pre-existing issue and the statute of limitations issue working against you.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

        Comment


        • #5
          Illness, not an Injury

          What your husband has is an occupational illness, not a work related injury. Occupational illnesses are seldom diagnosed when they first occur, because there is no acute trauma associated with the pain. Once your Doctor determined that your husband had an occupational illness, he should have directed you to your employer and work comp carrier. In this case, your husband may have been being treated for years - in this case, since he has been with the same employer for all of this time, and he has been doing the same job that has the risk factors, the Colorado court will most likely agree that the illness was caused by the work and order the company to pay.

          In Colorado, as I would think would be the case in most states, even if he has a pre-existing condition that is aggravated by his work, the employer is still responsible for the part of the condition that has been made worse by the job. If this is no the answer you are getting from the employer and the work comp carrier - GET AN ATTORNEY. Your husband is entitled to compensation and benefits. I have found that in Colorado, the courts are very sympathetic to the injured employee.

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          • #6
            In either case the OP has at most 3 years to report the claim. kcolg- how long has it been ince he first was told that this was likely caused or aggravated by work? Did he miss any time as a result of this ailment up until now?

            C.R.S. 8-43-103(2). Notice of injury - time limit.

            The director and administrative law judges employed by the Office of Administrative Courts shall have jurisdiction at all times to hear and determine and make findings and awards on all cases of injury for which compensation or benefits are provided by articles 40 to 47 of this title. Except in cases of disability or death resulting from exposure to radioactive materials, substances, or machines or to fissionable materials, or any type of malignancy caused thereby, or from poisoning by uranium or its compounds, or from asbestosis, silicosis, and anthracosis, the right to compensation and benefits provided by said articles shall be barred unless, within two years after the injury or after death resulting therefrom, a notice claiming compensation is filed with the division. This limitation shall not apply to any claimant to whom compensation has been paid or if it is established to the satisfaction of the director within three years after the injury or death that a reasonable excuse exists for the failure to file such notice claiming compensation and if the employer's rights have not been prejudiced thereby, and the furnishing of medical, surgical, or hospital treatment by the employer shall not be considered payment of compensation or benefits within the meaning of this section; but, in all cases in which the employer has been given notice of an injury and fails, neglects, or refuses to report said injury to the division as required by the provisions of said articles, this statute of limitations shall not begin to run against the claim of the injured employee or said employee's dependents in the event of death until the required report has been filed with the division. (Emphasis added.)



            It is probably worth talking over with a lawyer if you are interested in pursuing this, particularly if within the 2-3 year time limit or if he had never missed any time as a result of this injury until now.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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            • #7
              It has only been about a year since he was told that work was the aggravation. He has never missed any time away from work for this.

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              • #8
                If it has only been a year since he was told it was work related then I would speak with a lawyer and file an appeal as he is within the 2 years permitted by law to make a claim.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                Comment

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