Labor and Labor Relations

Workers' Compensation – Procedure

SECTION 28-35-12

§ 28-35-12. Petition for determination of controversy – Contents and filing.

(a) In all disputes between an employer and employee in regard to compensation or any other obligation established under chapters 29 – 38 of this title, and when death has resulted from the injury and the dependents of the deceased employee entitled to compensation are, or its apportionment among them is, in dispute, any person in interest, or his or her duly authorized representative, may file with the workers' compensation court a petition, prescribed by the court, setting forth the names and residences of the parties; the facts relating to employment at the time of injury; the cause, extent, and character of the injury; the amount of wages, earnings, or salary received at the time of the injury; and the knowledge of the employer of notice of the occurrence of the injury; and any other facts that may be necessary and proper for the information of the court; and shall state the matter in dispute and the claims of the petitioner with reference to it; provided, that no petition shall be filed within twenty-one (21) days of the date of the injury and no petition regarding any other obligation established under chapters 29 – 38 of this title shall be filed until twenty-one (21) days after written demand for payment upon the employer or insurer or written notice to the employer or insurer of failure to fulfill the obligation, except that any petition alleging the non-payment or late payment of weekly compensation benefits, attorneys' fees, and costs, may be filed after fourteen (14) days from the date the payment is due as set forth in §§ 28-35-42, 28-35-43, and 28-35-20(c). All demands seeking payment of bills for medical services rendered shall include reference to a claim number or a legible copy of the agreement, order, and/or decree, if appropriate, establishing liability. Medical bills for services ordered paid by decree or pretrial order shall be paid within fourteen (14) days of the entry of the decree or order. In the event that the bills are not paid within the fourteen-day (14) period, a petition may be filed to enforce said order or decree without any additional written notice to the employer or insurer.

(b)(1) If one or more claims are filed for an injury and there are two (2) or more insurers, any one of which may be held to be liable to pay compensation, and the judge determines that the injured employee would be entitled to receive compensation but for the existence of a controversy as to which one of the insurers is liable to pay compensation, one of the insurers shall be selected by a judge of the workers' compensation court, to pay to the injured employee the compensation, pending a final decision of the workers' compensation court as to the matter in controversy, and that decision shall require that the amount of compensation paid shall be deducted from the award if made against another insurer and shall be paid by that other insurer to the insurer selected by the judge.

(2) The workers' compensation court shall award compensation, costs, and attorneys' fees in its discretion if one of the insurers is held to be liable following the hearing.

(c) If any determination of the workers' compensation court entitles an employee to retroactive payment of weekly benefits, the court shall award to the employee interest at the rate per annum provided in § 9-21-10 on that retroactive weekly payment from six (6) months subsequent to the date that the employee first filed a petition for benefits to the time when that retroactive payment is actually made. If the proceedings are unduly delayed by or at the request of the employee or his or her attorney, the judge may reduce or eliminate interest on retroactive payment; provided, that the provisions of this section as they relate to interest shall apply only to petitions filed on or after July 1, 1984.

(d) Any fine, penalty, or interest expense incurred by an insurer under this section may not be used as an expense for the purpose of seeking a rate increase before the department of business regulation.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1912, ch. 831, art. 3, § 2; P.L. 1921, ch. 2095, § 7; G.L. 1923, ch. 92, art. 3, § 2; P.L. 1928, ch. 1207, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 300, art. 3, § 2; G.L. 1938, ch. 300, art. 3, § 3; P.L. 1954, ch. 3297, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 28-35-12; P.L. 1960, ch. 125, § 1; P.L. 1982, ch. 32, art. 1, § 10; P.L. 1984, ch. 142, art. 4, § 1; P.L. 1984 (s.s.), ch. 450, § 3; P.L. 1985, ch. 365, § 8; P.L. 1986, ch. 1, § 6; P.L. 1990, ch. 332, art. 1, § 5; P.L. 1990, ch. 332, art. 4, § 4; P.L. 2001, ch. 256, § 6; P.L. 2001, ch. 355, § 6; P.L. 2003, ch. 388, § 4; P.L. 2003, ch. 395, § 4; P.L. 2013, ch. 445, § 3; P.L. 2013, ch. 475, § 3; P.L. 2014, ch. 78, § 6; P.L. 2014, ch. 87, § 6; P.L. 2014, ch. 231, § 3; P.L. 2014, ch. 289, § 3.)