Our firm’s founder, R. Mack Babcock, is also acting president of the Workers’ Compensation Education Association (WCEA). Each year, the WCEA lobbies on behalf of legislation for injured workers.
Senate bill 14-191 passed the Colorado General Assembly around the first of May and was signed into law by Gov. Hickenlooper on May 31st. This new law relates to procedures resolving workers’ compensation claims and takes effect on July 1st, 2014.
The WCEA is a lobbying group that consists of Denver workers’ compensation attorneys like R. Mack Babcock that want the system to work effectively and fairly for injured workers. Mack has been involved in other bills from past sessions that have improved the system as well.
Below is a summary of bill 14-191 and what it may mean to the injured employee.
- Section 1 of the bill regards allowing the director over workers compensation or the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) authority to determine if the medical treatment for the employee adopted by the director is appropriate, reasonable and necessary.
- Section 2 of the bill allows the director to implement various rules regarding approval of settlements in workers compensation cases including procedures such as electronic transmission of documents and verification of signatures.
- Section 3 and 4 of the bill changes the amount of time in which a hearing must begin. Extends from 100 to 120 days after the hearing has been set.
- Section 5 of the bill allows the objection time of a summary order by the ALJ to be extended an additional 3 days. (from 7 to 10 days)
- Section 6 of the bill will allow the director or ALJ the authority to summons out-of-state parties to appear in person or over the phone for cases. Failure to appear gives them authority to approve penalties.
- Section 7 of the bill sets a deadline of 30 days for the director or ALJ to comply with the directions accompanying the remand of a case or order by an appellate tribunal.
- Section 8 of the bill allows the employee a $75 a day compensation fee if the employer required a medical test that caused the employee to have to travel or miss work. (this fee is in addition to transportation and lodging).
- Section 9 of the bill allows the lump sum settlement to be raised from the current $60,000 to a range from $80,868 to $161,734 depending on the number of claimants and being able to be adjusted according to the state average weekly wage.
If you’ve suffered a job injury, contact the Denver based law office of R. Mack Babcock for a free consultation.
You want an attorney like Babcock that fully understands all the details of workers’ compensation law and that has the passion and desire to make sure injured employees are treated fairly. Please also check out our blog, or download our handy workers’ comp guide for more information regarding your benefits and rights as an injured worker.