2016 California Code
Labor Code - LAB
DIVISION 4 - WORKERS' COMPENSATION AND INSURANCE
PART 3 - COMPENSATION CLAIMS
CHAPTER 1 - Payment and Assignment
Section 4906.

CA Labor Code § 4906 (2016) What's This?

4906. (a) A charge, claim, or agreement for the legal services or disbursements mentioned in subdivision (a) of Section 4903, or for the expense mentioned in subdivision (b) of Section 4903, is not enforceable, valid, or binding in excess of a reasonable amount. The appeals board may determine what constitutes a reasonable amount, but payment pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4903 or Section 5710 shall not be allowed for any services or expenses incurred prior to the filing of the disclosure form described in subdivision (e) with the appeals board and the sending of that form to the employer, or to the insurer or third-party administrator, if either is known, by the attorney.

(b) An attorney or agent shall not demand or accept any fee from an employee or dependent of an employee for the purpose of representing the employee or dependent of an employee in any proceeding of the division, appeals board, or any appellate procedure related thereto until the amount of the fee has been approved or set by the appeals board.

(c) Any fee agreement shall be submitted to the appeals board for approval within 10 days after the agreement is made.

(d) In establishing a reasonable attorney s fee, consideration shall be given to the responsibility assumed by the attorney, the care exercised in representing the applicant, the time involved, and the results obtained.

(e) At the initial consultation, an attorney shall furnish the employee a written disclosure form promulgated by the administrative director which shall clearly and prominently describe the procedures available to the injured employee or his or her dependents. The disclosure form shall describe this section, the range of attorney s fees customarily approved by the appeals board, and the attorney s fees provisions of Section 4064 and the extent to which an employee may receive compensation without incurring attorney s fees. The disclosure form shall include the telephone number of the administrative director together with the statement that the employee may receive answers at that number to questions concerning entitlement to compensation or the procedures to follow to receive compensation. A copy of the disclosure form shall be signed by the employee and the attorney and filed with the appeals board and sent to the employer, or insurer or third-party administrator, if either is known, by the attorney within 15 days of the employee s and attorney s execution thereof.

(f) The disclosure form set forth in subdivision (e) shall contain, prominently stated, the following statement:

Any person who makes or causes to be made any knowingly false or fraudulent material statement or representation for the purpose of obtaining or denying workers compensation benefits or payments is guilty of a felony.

(g) (1) The disclosure form described in subdivision (e) shall also contain a paragraph setting forth the exact location of the district office of the appeals board at which the employee s case will be filed. This paragraph shall also contain, prominently displayed, the following statement:

The employee has been advised of the district office at which his or her case will be filed and that he or she may be required to attend conferences or hearings at this location at his or her own expense.

(2) The disclosure form may not be signed by the employee until he or she has been advised of the location at which his or her case will be filed, has met with or personally spoken with an attorney licensed by the State Bar of California who is regularly employed by the firm by which the employee will be represented, and has been advised of his or her rights as set forth in subdivision (e) and the provisions of paragraph (1). The name of this individual shall be clearly and legibly set forth on the disclosure form.

(3) The disclosure form shall include the actual date the disclosure form was signed by both the employee and the attorney and shall be signed under penalty of perjury by the attorney representing the employee, or an attorney licensed by the State Bar of California who is regularly employed by his or her firm. A copy of the disclosure form containing all of the required information shall be given to the employee when he or she signs the disclosure form.

(h) In addition to the disclosure form, the employee, the insurer, the employer, and the attorneys for each party shall sign under penalty of perjury and file with the board a statement, with the complete application or answer, and in addition to the disclosure required pursuant to subdivision (g), that they have not violated Section 139.3 and that they have not offered, delivered, received, or accepted any rebate, refund, commission, preference, patronage dividend, discount, or other consideration, whether in the form of money or otherwise, as compensation or inducement for any referred examination or evaluation.

(i) An attorney who subsequently assumes the representation of the employee in the same action or proceeding shall complete a disclosure form that meets all of the requirements of this section and the statement required by subdivision (h). Both the form and the statement shall be signed under penalty of perjury by the attorney or an attorney licensed by the State Bar of California who is regularly employed by his or her firm. Both the disclosure form and the statement shall be filed with the appeals board and sent to the employer, or insurer or third-party administrator, if either is known, by the attorney within 15 days of the employee s and attorney s execution of the form and statement. Payment pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4903 or Section 5710 shall not be allowed for any services or expenses incurred prior to the filing of the disclosure form described in subdivision (e) with the appeals board and the sending of that form to the employer, or to the insurer or third-party administrator, if either is known, by the attorney.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 852, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2017.)

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