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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    2

    Default Colorado, Hand Crush Injury, Disfigurement

    My son suffered a crush injury of his left hand in a hydraulic press while at work. He amputated the tips of his index, middle, and ring fingers --all above the first knuckle -- and popped off half of his thumb that the surgeon was able to reattach. We are extremely grateful for how well he has healed! The Op Med doc has declared he has no permanent partial disability. However, we don't want him to be shorted (pardon the inadvertent pun) on disfigurement. He has two fingers that are 1 cm shorter than the other hand, 1 finger is .5 cm shorter, and his thumb is actually .5 cm longer. Obviously he has scarring and the nails, while growing back, are gnarled and do not look like his other hand.

    We have spoken to a couple of attorneys who won't look at his case, so I'm wondering where we can find guidelines as to what is fair, what the judges in CO have awarded in similar cases in the past?

    Also, in CO, there is a statutory limit for disfigurement. Would that be per finger, or would that possibly multiply since 4 of the fingers on his left hand are involved?

    Any thoughts or information would be great! Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    5,059

    Default Re: Colorado, Hand Crush Injury, Disfigurement

    I'm wondering where we can find guidelines as to what is fair
    You can't they're not available to the public, I did find a site but it's open to members only, I can't share the info.
    The statute you're looking for is Colorado Scheduled Impairments C.R.S. 8-42-107(2) , it defines the scheduled amount for amputations, google that and see what you come up with (hint)
    You live in a state that has complex rules and schedules to deal with these types of cases.
    See:Statute, Rules & Guidance
    https://www.colorado.gov/cdle/node/20506

    Once you receive the Final Admission from the carrier, you can file a dispute within 30 days if you don't agree.
    If you don't have a lawyer, you'll have to go to the OAC website and learn about how to proceed if the carrier fails to do the right thing.
    Below is some highlights from their website, contact the Division of Workers’ Compensation if you need assistance.
    Good Luck

    INFORMATION REGARDING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AND A CLAIMANT’S RIGHTS
    A Final Admission is a critical document because it represents the insurer’s final decision on what it believes is owed to you. The Final Admission contains important information, including your impairment rating and whether the insurer will continue to provide medical care. You can dispute the Final Admission if you act within 30 days.
    Important information about how to pursue a dispute and the mandatory timelines is contained in the Final Admission. You should read this document carefully.

    You may also be entitled to a payment for disfigurement if your injury caused scarring or disfigurement. If the insurer or employer violated the law, including the rules or any orders, you can request penalties. For instance, if you were entitled to benefits and the insurer refused to pay or didn’t pay timely, those could be grounds for penalties.

    If you have a dispute and cannot resolve the matter with the adjuster, you can request a prehearing conference. If you are disputing the Final Admission or some other issue that requires a hearing, you can file an Application for Hearing.
    At a hearing you have the right to testify, to call witnesses, to introduce evidence and to make arguments. There are certain rules and processes that must be
    followed, so if you do not have an attorney you will need to learn about this process.
    Information is available at the OAC website, at www.colorado.gov/dpa/oac

    If you have more general questions or don’t understand something you can call the Division of Workers’ Compensation at 303-318-8700, or toll-free at 1-888-390-7936.
    You can also check the Division’s website at www.colorado.gov/cdle/dwc
    Source:
    https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sit...t_Brochure.pdf

    Rule 1 General Definitions and General Provisions
    http://www.coworkforce.com/dwc/rules...vRules1-12.asp

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Colorado, Hand Crush Injury, Disfigurement

    Thanks very much, Tony. You pointed us in a good direction! So appreciate the assist.

    Sincerely,
    Sue

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