The prediction business is not an easy one. That's why Las Vegas casino owners seem to stick around awhile. In the workers' compensation arena, it can be difficult to guess what is in store with respect to appellate decisions involving the substantive law or with pending legislation affecting the rights of injured workers. Despite not having a crystal ball, I took a shot at predicting what could be in store for the Commission as well as the Workers' Compensation Act in my recent Chair Column in the Compensation Quarterly.
My first glimpse into the future appears to be right on the money and it involves technology and the Workers' Compensation Commission. In his recent address before the Workers' Compensation Section of the Connecticut Bar Association at the Connecticut Legal Conference, Chairman John A. Mastropietro hinted that the Commission would be active in upgrading several facets of its operation from a technological perspective. Within a month of our meeting, the Commission unveiled ...wait for it...a Twitter account! Now we can follow our favorite state agency and send a tweet or two along the way.
I am not a betting man, but I would make a friendly wager that some sort of e-filing system will take place within the next year or so. This would ease the burden of many individuals and law firms seeking to file pertinent documents with the Commission on a daily basis.
It is always difficult to predict the passing of legislation that may affect the injured worker or the employer/insurance carrier. In the years to come, I predicted that health care reform and the cost of doing business in this forum could shape future legislation.
Take a peek into your crystal ball and tell me what you think. The first 100 years were certainly a time of social and industrial change. What will shape the next 100 years in the workers' compensation arena? Your guess is as good as mine...