Workers Compensation (Watch)

Workers Compensation (Watch)

HB 7009 (House Commerce Committee) makes numerous changes to the state’s workers’ compensation laws, primarily in response to recent court decisions. The legislation requires a good faith effort by claimants and their attorneys to resolve disputes prior to filing petitions for benefits. The bill specifies that injured workers may receive up to 260 weeks of temporary total disability or temporary partial disability. The bill substantially revises attorney fees provisions. It caps the maximum hourly rate that may be applied by a judge of compensation claims to $150 per hour. The bill also mandates a specified notice regarding attorney fees be signed by the claimant that states the injured worker may be responsible for any remaining attorney fees. In addition, the bill removes the restriction for an injured worker to enter a fee agreement with an attorney. (Cruz)