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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default How a Third Party Lawsuit Affects Works Comp Benefits

    First of all i want to thank Bvia,.sh,adj and others for the great advice they gave me last week on a question i had,it was very helpful and they seem to know everything about workers comp,thank you.My other question is if im recieving work comp medical benefits now and if i get a settlement(thats if) form works comp how would it affect a lawsuit i have against a third party co.who which was the reason of my injuries.My personal injury lawyer(not works comp because he doesnt handle workscomp)said we have a very strong case against the defendant.If we win the lawsuit ,would workmans comp require me to pay them back for all that they have spended on medical bills?thank you again.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: How a Third Party Lawsuit Affects Works Comp Benefits

    If we win the lawsuit ,would workmans comp require me to pay them back for all that they have spended on medical bills
    Yup. Depending on how your state allows subrogation rights. The ER/IC is entitled to reimbursement for benefits they provide in the name of the 3rd party holding actual liability for your injury. The injury is work related, but not at your ER liability. When the MVA claim is settled, the comp claim remains open, and your ER/IC is still liable for medical treatment for life. When you receive an award/settlement in the MVA claim, there will likely be money for future medical...you'll have to prove you exhausted that money before the WC carrier will be liable again, or they could take a credit/money for additonal medical...there are various ways to handle the joint claims.

    It is important that your comp atty and the MVA/PI atty are in constant contact with each other. Many PI attys are only interested in the MVA claim, and the comp atty can fend for themselves...including the atty fees when it comes time to settle the comp claim. The WC IC could also be held for a portion of your PI claim atty fees. You should not have to pay all the atty fees to chase after money for the comp carrier.

    IMHO... you should not settle either claim before the other... there should be a world wide settlement of the case in chief (thats' what it's called)...so all the claims, credits, disputed issues can be dealt with all at once. There may or may not be good cause to keep the comp claim open... depends on your need for additional treatment.

    Listen to your attys... that's what you're paying the fees for... and big fees at that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,108

    Default Re: How a Third Party Lawsuit Affects Works Comp Benefits

    yes they would for all benefits--not just medical.
    generally the proceeds from your lawsuit (less atty fee) are used to reimburse the comp carrier/employer for the costs on your claim. if there are future work comp benefits payable then the comp carrier has a credit. their liability won't kick in until the credit is exhausted.

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