Recent Changes to Colorado Worker’s Compensation Laws

Each year, Colorado’s General Assembly amends the Colorado Worker’s Compensation Act. The changes in 2007 are critical in many respects. They are highlighted below.

Senate Bill 07-258

• Slight changes to worker’s compensation evidentiary hearings specific to notice, time schedule, evidence and orders;
• Increases the aggregate of all lump sums granted to $60,000, from the old maximum of $37,560;
• Requires automatic payment of up to $10,000 in a lump sum for both scheduled and non-scheduled awards.

House Bill 07-1297

• Increases the award for disfigurement to a maximum of $4,000, and an award of up to $8,000 for extensive facial or body scars, burn scars, or stumps resulting from loss of limbs.

House Bill 07-1008

• Creates a presumption of an occupational disease for a disability, death, or impairment suffered by a fire fighter which results from certain types of cancer.

House Bill 07-1176

• Affords a claimant the opportunity to select a treating physician from a list of at least two physicians or provider systems designated by the employer. Previously, the Respondent selected the authorized treating physician with no choice being offered to the injured worker;
• Allows the claimant a one-time change of position to a physician or provider on the employer’s designated list. This changes in addition to the existing procedure which allows the claimant to request a change of physician at any time with permission from the insurer.

House Bill 07-1366

• Requires that a person contracting construction work on a construction site either provide or require proof of worker’s compensation insurance coverage for every person performing construction work on that site;
• Does not apply to independent contractors who have formed corporations and have rejected coverage; corporate officers and members of limited liability companies who have rejected coverage; owners, occupants (or both), of a qualified residence who contract work to be done by a person not in their employ; owners, occupants (or both), who contract for routine repair or maintenance.

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