The Board hears petitions for reconsideration in workers’ comp cases.
If you are involved in a California workers’ compensation case, you may find yourself confused by the process. This is particularly true if some aspect of your claim is disputed. What happens if your case goes to trial, and you disagree with the outcome? This is where the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board steps in to resolve the case.
The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board is made up of 7 members appointed by the governor to handle appeals of workers’ compensation cases. In addition, the Board is responsible for adopting rules of practice and procedure for workers’ compensation cases.
If you or your employer has an issue with your workers’ compensation claim, the matter may go to trial. After the workers’ compensation judge issues a decision, either party may file a Petition for Reconsideration with the Board. The judge will then have the option to file a report and recommendation for the Board to consider.
As a California workers’ comp lawyer can explain, the petition will be assigned to three Appeals Board members. The first Board member will review the case, and make a decision regarding the case within 3 days. The second member then reviews the case and has 2 days to make a decision. Finally, the third member will review the case. If two or members agree on how the case should be handled, then the case will go to the staff to prepare a written decision. Otherwise, the panel members will confer or the case will be recirculated to come to a consensus. The Board must act on a petition within 60 days of its filing. Otherwise, the petition may be denied by operation of law.
Typically, a Petition for Reconsideration is filed by a California workers’ comp lawyer. This petition must be filed within 20 days after a decision is issued by the trial judge. In some cases, the Board can also reconsider cases without a motion from either party; this must be done with 60 days of a decision.
The Appeals Board also hears Petitions for Removal, which may be filed by a California workers’ comp lawyer if a non-final order from a workers’ compensation judge has been issued that may cause substantial prejudice or irreparable harm. This usually happens when a party disagrees with a procedural ruling such as the admissibility of evidence.
The Appeals Board has other functions, such as issuing decision “en banc” (or as a whole). This is done when a case involves unique issues or when a uniform decision is needed. Cases that have new or recurring issues may be sent to the Appeals Board for their opinion. In addition, the Appeals Board handles disciplinary matters for parties that appear before it.
The appeals process in California workers’ compensation cases can be complicated. An experienced California workers’ comp lawyer can help you through the process, ensuring that your rights are protected. The law firm of PLBSH represents workers throughout California in the workers’ compensation process. Contact us at (800) 435-7542 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.