Colorado lawmakers have introduced legislation that would make various changes to the state’s workers’ compensation system, including raising legal fees in compensation cases.
House Bill 1076, filed Tuesday, would increase workers’ contingent attorney fees to 25%. Currently, attorneys’ fees in excess of 20% of the amount of disputed benefits are considered unreasonable.
The measure would also amend existing law by raising the limit on injured workers’ medical disability benefits from 12 weeks to 36 weeks, allowing injured workers to request a hearing when their temporary total disability benefits end based on a physician’s return to work, and removing a current provision that allows injured workers to file with comp regulators before receiving reimbursement for certain medical devices.
The measure would also specify that any medical benefits recommended by a physician after maximum medical improvement are not limited to any specific medical treatment.
Another proposed change concerns medical records. Under current law, insurers must provide independent doctors and other parties with a complete copy of an injured worker̵7;s entire medical record, but the bill would limit the required medical records to only those related to the specific work injury.
The bill was sent to the Senate Commerce, Labor and Technology Committee for consideration.