(a) Except as necessary to meet the requirements of Section 4903.5, a lien claim or application for adjudication shall not be filed or served under subdivision (b) of Section 4903 until both of the following have occurred:
(1) Sixty days have elapsed after the date of acceptance or rejection of liability for the claim, or expiration of the time provided for investigation of liability pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 5402, whichever date is earlier.
(2) Either of the following:
(A) The time provided for payment of medical treatment bills pursuant to Section 4603.2 has expired and, if the employer objected to the amount of the bill, the reasonable fee has been determined pursuant to Section 4603.6, and, if authorization for the medical treatment has been disputed pursuant to Section 4610, the medical necessity of the medical treatment has been determined pursuant to Sections 4610.5 and 4610.6.
(B) The time provided for payment of medical-legal expenses pursuant to Section 4622 has expired and, if the employer objected to the amount of the bill, the reasonable fee has been determined pursuant to Section 4603.6.
(b) All lien claimants under Section 4903 shall notify the employer and the employer’s representative, if any, and the employee and his or her representative, if any, and the appeals board within five working days of obtaining, changing, or discharging representation by an attorney or nonattorney representative. The notice shall set forth the legal name, address, and telephone number of the attorney or nonattorney representative.
(c) A declaration of readiness to proceed shall not be filed for a lien under subdivision (b) of Section 4903 until the underlying case has been resolved or where the applicant chooses not to proceed with his or her case.
(d) With the exception of a lien for services provided by a physician as defined in Section 3209.3, a lien claimant shall not be entitled to any medical information, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 56.05 of the Civil Code, about an injured worker without prior written approval of the appeals board. Any order authorizing disclosure of medical information to a lien claimant other than a physician shall specify the information to be provided to the lien claimant and include a finding that the information is relevant to the proof of the matter for which the information is sought. The appeals board shall adopt reasonable regulations to ensure compliance with this section, and shall take any further steps as may be necessary to enforce the regulations, including, but not limited to, impositions of sanctions pursuant to Section 5813.
(e) The prohibitions of this section shall not apply to lien claims, applications for adjudication, or declarations of readiness to proceed filed by or on behalf of the employee, or to the filings by or on behalf of the employer.
(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 287, Sec. 7. (SB 375) Effective January 1, 2014.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018