According to a report from Business Insurance, the California State Senate passed Senate Bill 335 (SB 335), a piece of workers’ compensation reform legislation that would, among other things, reduce the amount of time that employers/insurers have to deny a workers’ compensation claim. In this blog post, our Fresno workers’ compensation defense lawyers explain the most important things to know about California Senate Bill 335.
Three Key Things to Know About What is Currently in Senate Bill 335
SB 335 is a workers’ compensation bill. It was passed by a 29 to 10 vote in the California State Senate. Should it become valid law in California, it would have important implications for employers, claims administrators, and insurance carriers. Here are three key things to know about what is currently in SB 335:
- Less Time to Investigate Claims: Perhaps the most important proposed change in SB 335 is the reduction in the amount of time that employers would have to reject a workers’ compensation claim. Currently, California LC 5402 states that a claim is presumed to be valid if “liability is not rejected within 90 days after the date the claim form is filed.” The new language proposed by SB 335 would shorten that period to just 45 days.
- Increase Preliminary Medical Coverage: Under current law, an employer is presumed to be liable for up to $10,000.00 in medical treatment until the date a workers’ compensation claim is officially accepted or rejected. SB 335 would increase that amount to $17,000.00. Supporters of the bill argue that this change is needed to account for changes in the cost of medical care.
- Unreasonable Delay Surcharge: SB 335 also allows injured workers to seek a ten percent increase of their award if an employer unreasonably delays coverage.
The Next Step: SB 335 Heads to the California State Assembly
Senate Bill 335 is not yet law. The bill now heads to the California State Assembly where it will go under consideration. If it passes the California State Assembly, it will go to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for a final signature. While SB 335 could still get tangled up in the Assembly, it is unlikely given the partisan makeup of the state legislature that the bill would pass through the Assembly only to be vetoed by Governor Newsom. Our law firm will keep a close watch on this legislation and all other legal and legislative developments that affect the rights of our client.
Call Our California Workers’ Compensation Defense Attorneys for Legal Advice
At Yrulegui & Roberts, our California workers’ comp defense law firm is committed to providing aggressive, practical, and cost-effective representation to clients. If you have questions about workers’ compensation defense, we are prepared to help. Contact our law firm now for a confidential, no strings attached consultation. Our attorneys serve WCAB locations throughout the entire region, including Stockton, Redding, San Jose, Salinas, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Oxnard.