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Colorado Lawmakers Mull Expanding Doctor Choice for Injured Workers

A bill moving through the state legislature would give injured workers who get workers’ compensation benefits more choice in selecting their doctors.

State law currently allows employers – and their insurers – to limit injured workers to a list of four treating physicians picked by the company. Those doctors have to be within a certain geographic distance and cannot all be part of the same practice or company.

The new bill (SB21-197), passed in the state Senate May 4, would allow injured workers to choose any physician accredited by the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation. It would also require employers to inform injured workers of their right to choose from this broader list of doctors within one week of being notified about an injury on the job.

“I just want to make sure the workers have protection and good advice and aren’t forced into something because someone wants to save costs on health care,” Sen. Robert Rodriguez, the bill’s sponsor, told the Denver Business Journal. “I’m not looking to break the system. I just want to make sure it’s fair.”

Employers and insurers, unsurprisingly, are not fans of the legislation. They argue that it will cause costs to balloon, including eliminating a 2.5% premium credit for employers that designate providers and preventing employers from being able to negotiate rates with those providers.

“If the employer is no longer going to be able to hand that employee the list of providers, then that premium credit will go away,” Edie Sonn, a representative for Pinnacol Assurance, told Law Week Colorado.

How Colorado Workers’ Compensation Works

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that offers financial benefits to workers injured on the job. It is designed to give injured workers and their families some financial security while the injured person gets back on his or her feet. 

The benefits include compensation for related medical care, as well as missed wages during your recuperation.

Unfortunately, some employers and their insurers often cut corners to try to limit benefits or avoid paying them altogether. That is why it is vital that anyone injured on the job seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.

How a Denver Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident on the job in Colorado, an experienced Denver personal injury lawyer at Levine Law can help you understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation. That includes seeking workers’ compensation benefits or pursuing a lawsuit against those responsible for the accident.

At Levine Law, our Denver accident attorneys combine decades of experience helping people injured in a wide range of accidents get the money they deserve. We have a strong track record of success for the people that we represent in the courtroom and through negotiated settlements.

Our lawyers are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver personal injury lawyer.

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