State News : Texas

NWCDN is a network of law firms dedicated to protecting employers in workers’ compensation claims.

NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.  

Select a state from the dropdown menu below to scroll through the state specific archives for updates and opinions on various workers’ compensation laws in your state.

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Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

Vindication for the Appeals Panel!  The Court of Appeals in Amarillo determined this month that an insurance carrier may take credit for previously paid Indemnity Income Benefits (IIBs) and Supplemental Income Benefits (SIBs) by redesignating them as Lifetime Income Benefits (LIBs) if either were paid prior to the LIBs accrual date.  Lubbock County v. Reyna, No. 07-23-00380-CV, 2024 WL 2925337.

The injured worker sustained a traumatic brain injury entitling him to Lifetime Income Benefits. However, Claimant had already received approximately four and a half years of IIBs and SIBs after the LIBs accrual date.  He won a summary judgment decision at the district court level, where he asserted his right to collect LIBs during the same time frame he previously received IIBs and SIBs.  Lubbock County’s summary judgment motion, asserting that such double recoveries are prohibited as a matter of law, was denied.

The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court in holding that an injured worker may recover only one form of income benefits for a single compensable injury at any given time.  Referencing the Appeals Panel’s decision in the case that both IIBs and SIBs could properly be redesignated as LIBs, the Court of Appeals concurred.  To permit receipt of multiple forms of income benefits for the same period would potentially allow an injured worker to recover more than his or her average weekly wage in indemnity benefits, something the Texas Labor Code forbids.

Instructions to the insurance carrier on the PLN-7 form (“Notice of Change of Indemnity Benefit Type”) have been changed to advise that the form is to be used when an injured worker gains entitlement to LIBs following payment of a previous income benefit type.  

Copyright 2024, Stone Loughlin & Swanson, LLP