Liability of Third Parties in Workers’ Compensation Claims
Insurance Reimbursement Can Be an Unwelcome Surprise If Your Attorney Isn’t Prepared
Insurance coverage overlap can be an extremely confusing aspect of personal injury claims for those not trained in the law. At Karns & Kerrison, our knowledge and experience put us in the position to make the system work for our clients.
Recently, our team filed an injury claim on behalf of a woman who was injured in a motor vehicle accident while on her way to the bank to make a deposit for her employer. Attorney Kerrison secured her workers’ compensation benefits because, while she was not physically at her workplace at the time of her injury, she was performing a task for the benefit of her employer. As a result, the client received a weekly check while she was out of work and her medical bills were paid by the workers’ compensation insurer.
Following the completion of her medical treatment, the client was able to secure a new job and attorney Kerrison was able to settle her workers’ compensation claim. This is where it gets interesting. Generally, in a workers’ compensation claim, when the injury is caused by a third party and a liability claim is pursued, the workers’ compensation insurer is entitled to be repaid what they paid on the claim. In this case, those expenses included:
- Weekly workers’ compensation checks
- The client’s medical bills
- The amount of the settlement
After winning their lawsuit, the successful plaintiff would have to repay everything out of their eventual proceeds from the third-party case.
However, in this case, the third party was not insured. The client’s liability claim was made against her own underinsurance policy. This means the client’s bills and lost wages were paid, a settlement was obtained from workers’ comp, and she did not have to repay the insurer because the settlement did not come from the person liable for the injury but rather from her own insurance.
The details of a claim can make a big difference. Our knowledge of the law surrounding the liability of third persons with regard to workers’ compensation cases saved our client over $20,000 and netted her significantly more. Results like these are the reason clients come to us to help with their complex accident claims.
Call our team at (888) 281-3100 to schedule a free consultation if you were injured in an accident.