Bill Summary for H 26 (2017-2018)
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AN ACT TO CLARIFY THAT AN INJURY NOT IDENTIFIED IN AN AWARD ARISING OUT OF G.S. 97-18(b) OR G.S. 97-18(d) IS NOT PRESUMED CAUSALLY RELATED, AND TO AMEND THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION ACT REGARDING APPROVAL OF DISPUTED LEGAL FEES BY THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION.Intro. by Watford, Zachary.
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Current law under the Workers' Compensation Act (Article 1, GS Chapter 97) requires attorneys seeking fees for services rendered to an employee pursuant to the Act to request prior approval of the attorneys' fees by the Industrial Commission (Commission) before collection. Under subsections (c) and (f) of GS 97-90, the Commission is authorized to determine the allowance for attorneys' fees and to determine disputes between an employee's current and past attorney(s) regarding division of the approved fee. This act requires the Commission to give notice, before ordering the division of a fee, to each of the employee's current and past attorneys of the total fee approved by the Commission for division between those attorneys. Additionally, clarifies that an attorney who is an interested party (previously, a party) to an action under subsection (f) has the same rights of appeal under subsection (c).
Applies to claims pending on or after the date the act becomes law.