2014 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 85A. Administrative Workers' Compensation System
§85A-82. Claims for legal services.

85A OK Stat § 85A-82 (2014) What's This?

A. 1. a.Fees for legal services rendered in a claim shall not be valid unless approved by the Commission.

b.An attorney representing an injured employee may only recover attorney fees up to ten percent (10%) of any temporary total disability or temporary partial disability compensation and twenty percent (20%) of any permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, or death compensation awarded to an injured employee by the Commission from a controverted claim. If the employer makes a written offer to settle permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, or death compensation and that offer is rejected, the employee's attorney may not recover attorney fees in excess of thirty percent (30%) of the difference between the amount of any award and the settlement offer.

(1)Attorney fees may not be collected for recovery on noncontroverted claims.

(2)Attorney fees shall not be awarded on medical benefits or services.

(3)The fee for legal services rendered by an attorney representing an employee in connection with a change of physician requested by the injured employee, controverted by the employer, and awarded by the Commission, shall be Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00).

(4)Attorney fees may include not more than ten percent (10%) of the value, or reasonable estimate thereof, of vocational rehabilitation services.

c.A "controverted claim" means that there has been a contested hearing before the Commission over whether there has been a compensable injury or whether the employee is entitled to temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, or death compensation. A request for a change in physician shall not trigger a controverted claim for purposes of recovering any attorney fees except the fees under division 3 of subparagraph b of this paragraph. A controverted claim shall not exist if the employee or his or her representative has withheld pertinent information in his or her possession related to the claim from the employer or has violated the provisions of Section 6 of this act.

2. Any person who or entity that brings a controverted claim against the State Treasurer, as a custodian of the Multiple Injury Trust Fund, shall provide notice of the claim to the Commission. Thereafter, the Commission shall direct fees for legal services be paid from the Fund, in addition to any compensation award. The fees shall be authorized only on the difference between the amount of compensation controverted and the amount awarded from the Fund.

3. In any case where attorney fees are allowed by the Commission, the limitations expressed in subparagraph b of paragraph 1 of this subsection shall apply.

4. Medical providers may voluntarily contract with the attorney for the employee to recover disputed charges, and the provider may charge a reasonable fee for the cost of collection.

B. An attorney representing an employee under this act may not recover fees for services except as expressly provided in this section.

Added by Laws 2013, c. 208, § 82, eff. Feb. 1, 2014.

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