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2009 Summary of Legislative Changes

HB 330 Workers’ Compensation

Amend O.C.G.A. §34-9-102 and §34-9-103:
These sections were amended to reflect changes in service on parties and counsel of record in conjunction with the implementation of the Board’s electronic filing system.

O.C.G.A. §34-9-102 and O.C.G.A. §34-9-103 have been amended in three ways: 1) service on “parties” should include service on counsel of record; 2) service on counsel of record should constitute service on a party; and 3) the effective date of an order should be the date the electronic notification of that order is electronically transmitted to the party.

Amend O.C.G.A. §34-9-207:
This section was amended to clarify the process for obtaining medical records in workers’ compensation claims.

This legislation strikes a balance between the competing interests of: 1) employers and insurers in obtaining medical records in a workers’ compensation claim; and 2) injured employees with concerns regarding the relevance of medical records that have been requested and/or any privacy rights.

The legislation also provides guidance to medical practitioners regarding the release of medical records in workers’ compensation claims.

Amend O.C.G.A. §34-9-223:
This section was amended to clarify that final settlements, as well as lump sum payments, may be paid by an employer/insurer to a trustee appointed by the Superior Court.

Amend O.C.G.A. §34-9-121:
This section was amended to address recognition of reciprocal extraterritorial workers’ compensation insurance policies for the construction industry.

Amend O.C.G.A. §34-9-385(d):
This section was amended only to revise the section numbering.