(a) An insurance carrier shall initiate compensation under this subtitle promptly. Not later than the 15th day after the date on which an insurance carrier receives written notice of an injury, the insurance carrier shall:
(1) begin the payment of benefits as required by this subtitle; or
(2) notify the division and the employee in writing of its refusal to pay and advise the employee of:
(A) the right to request a benefit review conference; and
(B) the means to obtain additional information from the division.
(a-1) An insurance carrier that fails to comply with Subsection (a) does not waive the carrier's right to contest the compensability of the injury as provided by Subsection (c) but commits an administrative violation subject to Subsection (e).
(a-2) An insurance carrier is not required to comply with Subsection (a) if the insurance carrier has accepted the claim as a compensable injury and income or death benefits have not yet accrued but will be paid by the insurance carrier when the benefits accrue and are due.
(a-3) An insurance carrier is not required to comply with Subsection (a) if the claim results from an employee's disability or death for which a presumption is claimed to be applicable under Subchapter B, Chapter 607, Government Code, and, not later than the 15th day after the date on which the insurance carrier received written notice of the injury, the insurance carrier has provided the employee and the division with a notice that describes all steps taken by the insurance carrier to investigate the injury before the notice was given and the evidence the carrier reasonably believes is necessary to complete its investigation of the compensability of the injury. The commissioner shall adopt rules as necessary to implement this subsection.
(b) An insurance carrier shall notify the division in writing of the initiation of income or death benefit payments in the manner prescribed by commissioner rules.
(c) If an insurance carrier does not contest the compensability of an injury on or before the 60th day after the date on which the insurance carrier is notified of the injury, the insurance carrier waives its right to contest compensability. The initiation of payments by an insurance carrier does not affect the right of the insurance carrier to continue to investigate or deny the compensability of an injury during the 60-day period.
(d) An insurance carrier may reopen the issue of the compensability of an injury if there is a finding of evidence that could not reasonably have been discovered earlier.
(e) An insurance carrier commits an administrative violation if the insurance carrier does not initiate payments or file a notice of refusal as required by this section.
Text of sub§ (f) as added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 939, § 1
(f) For purposes of this section, "written notice" to a certified self-insurer occurs only on written notice to the qualified claims servicing contractor designated by the certified self-insurer under Section 407.061(c).
Text of sub§ (f) as added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1100, § 1
(f) For purposes of this section:
(1) a certified self-insurer receives notice on the date the qualified claims servicing contractor designated by the certified self-insurer under Section 407.061(c) receives notice; and
(2) a political subdivision that self-insures under Section 504.011, either individually or through an interlocal agreement with other political subdivisions, receives notice on the date the intergovernmental risk pool or other entity responsible for administering the claim for the political subdivision receives notice.
(j) Each insurance carrier shall establish a single point of contact in the carrier's office for an injured employee for whom the carrier receives a notice of injury.
Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 269, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 939, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1100, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 265 (H.B. 7), § 3.145, eff. September 1, 2005.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1162 (H.B. 2605), § 13, eff. September 1, 2011.
Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 701 (S.B. 2551), § 3, eff. June 10, 2019.