Generally, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's jurisdiction to award new and further disability is limited to five years from the date of injury. Labor Code 5410 states, "Nothing in this chapter shall bar the right of any injured worker to institute proceedings for the collection of compensation within five years after the date of the injury upon the ground that the original injury has caused new and further disability." LC 5804 states, "No award of compensation shall be rescinded, altered, or amended after five years from the date of injury ..." unless there is a timely filed petition. The appeals board generally may not reserve jurisdiction to award additional disability more than five years from the date of injury. (Hartsuiker v. WCAB (1993) 12 Cal. App. 4th 209.)
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Posts about Workers' Compensation:
A Rare Renaissance Man
by Diane Skouti
Inter Alia Magazine - Volume 33, Issue 3
San Joaquin College of Law
For most attorneys, free time is a scarce commodity given over only to family, favored activities, and rest. Because of their universal penchant to serve, many legal professionals serve on boards and volunteer, in addition to pursuing a few hobbies.
For Chris Matthes (Law '16) time doesn't seem to exist. A newly promoted Supervising Attorney at the Fresno office of Michael Sullivan & Associates, Chris is obviously devoted to his legal career. The firm specializes in workers' compensation law, but also handles employment law, general liability, and the like. In his new role, Chris oversees junior attorneys, along with his own case load of workers comp defense, and the niche area of defending insurance carriers and third-party administrators against audit. There are nearly 100 attorneys among the firm’s nine statewide offices, and, like the Rhino featured in the firm’s logo, they are aggressive and effective in their approach.
Generally, workers' compensation is the exclusive remedy for injuries occurring at the workplace. A worker normally must pursue claims for work-related injuries before the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) rather than sue the employer in civil court.
Nevertheless, certain types of intentional conduct take the employer beyond the boundaries of the compensation bargain. In City of Moorpark v. Superior Court of Ventura County (Dillon) (1998) 18 Cal.4th 1143, the California Supreme Court held that discrimination falls outside of the compensation bargain. It concluded that Labor Code 132a does not provide the exclusive remedy for discrimination based on a work-related injury.
Yesterday we issued a summary of workers' compensation bills recently signed into law. The most significant is SB 1127, which is outlined in depth here. A webinar will be scheduled shortly to delve into these changes and their implications.
On Sept. 29, 2022, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 1127. The bill makes several changes to coverage by a statutory presumption of compensability. As explained in the Assembly Floor Analysis, "presumptions of compensability have been adopted, some many decades ago, to reflect unique circumstances where injuries or illnesses appear to logically be work related, but it is difficult for the injured worker to prove it is work related."
The 2022 legislative season is over. The Legislature had until Aug 31, 2022 to pass bills, and Governor Gavin Newsom had until Sept. 30, 2022 to sign or veto bills. The bills signed by the Governor take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. Below is a list of bills affecting California workers' compensation.
Labor Code § 4600(g)(2)(A) states, "Unless otherwise indicated in this section, a physician providing treatment under Section 4600 shall send any request for authorization for medical treatment, with supporting documentation, to the claims administrator for the employer, insurer, or other entity according to rules adopted by the administrative director." The statute directs that a request for authorization for medical treatment (RFA) must be sent to a claims administrator, rather than somewhere else, although the claims administrator may designate where the RFA is sent (CCR 9792.6.1(t)(3)).
Multiple employers or insurers can be liable for a cumulative trauma (CT) injury, and it's common for employers or insurers to dispute whether and how much liability they have for such an injury. Pursuant to Labor Code 5500.5(a), liability for a CT injury is limited to employers who employed the worker during the one-year period immediately preceding the date of injury (LC 5412), or the last date of injurious exposure, whichever occurs first.
On August 9, 2022, the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) announced that all DWC district offices except Eureka will accept in-person walk-through documents beginning September 6, 2022, pursuant to CCR 10789. Eureka is permanently a virtual office and walk-through documents should be brought to the DWC Santa Rosa district office.