February 1 marks the day of transition for the Oklahoma workers’ compensation system. Cases filed before this date will remain with the existing Workers' Compensation Court, which will become the Court of Existing Claims.
Any injury case after the first of the month will be handled by administrative judges of the new Workers' Compensation Commission.
Commissioners and staff members are working tirelessly to make the transition as smooth as possible. The commission held a public hearing two weeks ago to determine temporary rules of governing for they system.
“Everything’s going pretty well,” said commission Chairman Troy Wilson. “Everyone has been pretty cooperative.”
The Court of Existing Claims is expected to retain the bulk of work for this next year as it settles current claims. By next year, it’s expected that the new commission will be in charge of most, if not all cases.
Among the news of the commission’s installment is word that Gov. Mary Fallin’s husband, Wade Christensen, will not practice law before the commission. Although Christensen said that 95 percent of his law practice has been concerned with workers’ compensation cases for the past 30 years. He is stepping away from workers’ comp law because of possible conflicts of interest.
For more information regarding the transition and what you need to know about filing a claim after the first of the month, please speak with our staff here at Johnson & Biscone. We will gladly help you determine the best course of action.