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Texas Department of Insurance
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Benefit review conference (BRC) information for injured employees

Terms on this page

Liability issues:

When the insurance company believes that the injured employee was intoxicated at the time of the injury, or if the employee's injury was the result of horseplay, his/her intention to injure his/herself or another person, another person intending to injure the injured employee, an off-duty (recreational/social/athletic) activity, or an act of God. A party should be prepared to discuss the following information at a BRC on a liability dispute.

The insurance company may decide they are not responsible for paying benefits (exception to liability) if the employee was intoxicated at the time of the injury, or if their injury was caused by horseplay. There could also be a liability dispute if the employee was hurt in an off-duty activity, by an act of God, or while trying to hurt themselves or another person.

Find out more about exceptions to liability for:

If there is a liability dispute, a party should be ready to talk about the following information at a BRC.

Division forms

  • DWC-41, "Employee's Notice of Injury or Occupational Disease and Claim for Compensation," filed by the injured employee.
  • DWC-45, "Request to Schedule, Reschedule, or Cancel a Benefit Review Conference (BRC)" (if unrepresented, injured employees may request a conference by contacting the Division in any manner).
  • DWC-150, "Notice of Representation or Withdrawal of Representation," if the injured employee is represented by an attorney.

Medical records

  • Emergency room reports.
  • Medical narratives from a doctor to establish an injury and the relationship between the claimed injury (or disease) and the injured employee's employment.
  • A list of doctor's names that treated the injured employee, if more than one.
  • Doctor's narrative resulting from a required medical examination, if any.
  • To address an " alcohol or drug intoxication" dispute, medical information that establishes the injured employee's alcohol concentration was less than the stated limit under Section 49.01, Penal Code, or that the drug taken was prescribed by the injured employee's doctor would be helpful.

Additional information

  • Witness Statements - To overcome an " alcohol or drug intoxication" dispute, it is beneficial to present the names and/or statements of any co-workers to show the injured employee appeared to have the normal use of mental and physical faculties prior to the injury.
  • A list of activities performed prior to the injury.
  • To overcome a " horseplay" dispute, there must be information that shows the injured employee did not willfully engage in an act of horseplay and the horseplay was not a producing cause of the claimed injury.
  • To overcome an " act of God" dispute, there must be information to show that the injured employee's employment exposed him/her to a greater risk of injury than the general public; the term implies the intervention of some cause not of human origin and not controlled by human power (i.e., tornado, lightning, etc.).
  • To overcome a " willful intention to injure him/herself or unlawfully injure another person" dispute, there must be information (i.e., police report, witness statements) to show the injury occurred in the course and scope of employment and the injured employee did not willfully intend to injure his/herself or another person.
  • To overcome an " act of a third person intending to injure the injured employee" dispute, there must be information (i.e., witness statements, police report) to show that the claimed injury did not result from personal animosity by a third person towards the injured employee, but was a result of the employment.
  • To overcome an " off-duty (recreational/social/athletic) activity" dispute, there must be information to show whether the activity (not part of the normal work activity) was a reasonable expectancy of or was required by the employment (i.e., emails, pamphlets/fliers, witness statements, etc.).

Exchange of information

  • Must be exchanged with the Division and other parties per Rule 141.4.
  • Must be exchanged no later than 14 days prior to a BRC (5 days if BRC was expedited).
  • Bring information that is obtained after the exchange deadline to the conference in sufficient copies for filing and exchanging at the conference.

Definition of terms

"Injury" means damage or harm to the body, including infections from the injury. See §401.011(26).

"Compensable Injury" means an injury in the course and scope of employment. See §401.011(10).

"Course and Scope of Employment" means an activity performed by the injured employee originating in the work of the employer. See §401.011(12).

"Exceptions" listed under §406.032, provides specific situations that would relieve the insurance carrier for liability of a employee's compensation claim.

"Definition of Intoxication" is provided under §401.013.

"Alcoholic Beverage" is defined by Section 1.04, Alcoholic Beverage Code.

"Alcohol Concentration" is defined by Section 49.01, Penal Code (for injuries on or before 9/1/99) or by Section 49.01(2), Penal Code (for injuries on or after 9/1/99).

"Controlled Substance" or "Controlled Substance Analogue" is defined by Section 481.002, Health and Safety Code.

"Dangerous Drug" as defined by Section 483.001, Health and Safety Code.

"Abusable Glue or Aerosol Paint" as defined by Section 485.001, Health and Safety Code.

"Required Medical Examination" is an exam required by the Division to address the appropriateness of health care or other similar issues. See §408.004.

Last updated: 1/12/2021