After a hit-and-run at work, this is how we helped a client get the best of both worlds with an exciting twist at the end.
It started so sinisterly. Rod was walking into work from an office parking area, minding his own business, when a vehicle slammed into him and fled, never to be seen again. The impact broke Rod’s right arm and wrist. His surgeon called these injuries “significant” and “complicated.” It took four operations to put him back together again, which remains an imperfect fix.
Rod hired us after representing himself for a while. He realized he didn’t know how to handle his case and he definitely couldn’t handle the workers’ compensation insurance company. So he did the brave, right thing. He sought the services of a Spartanburg workers’ compensation and car accident attorney.
He definitely made the right choice, because his case was complicated, and we helped him make it work out unexpectedly well.
What Happens When You Get Hurt in a Car Accident at Work?
Right after he got hurt, Rod got some good news: because he got hurt at work, his treatment was covered by workers’ compensation.
Because he also had a car accident case, his case got better, but posed other dangers. In workers’ comp lingo, Rod’s car accident case is called a “third-party action.” The “third party” is someone who hurts you while you’re working, who is NOT a co-worker. While a third-party action offers a potentially bigger settlement, it does create more complexity and huge risks:
- If you settle the third-party action the wrong way, you lose your workers’ compensation rights.
- When you settle the third-party action, you’ve got to repay the workers’ compensation insurance company from it. That adds another layer of complexity and additional exposure to a tough workers’ compensation insurance company trying to squeeze as much as it can out of you.
Because he hired us, Rod didn’t have to worry about the complexities or the risks. He just let us handle them.
Crucial Events in the Car Accident Case
For the car accident case, the critical thing was finding insurance coverage to get Rod a settlement. Fortunately, he had uninsurance coverage, also called UM, on his policy. That coverage pays in these situations, even though Rod was a pedestrian when he got hit.
It got better. He had pretty good coverage.
Our efforts in this aspect of the case resulted in a settlement demand yielding a settlement for the full amount.
The Exciting Twist At The End
Here’s how our know-how gave Rod a key advantage in his case that made all the difference.
While the workers’ compensation insurance company expected repayment from the third-party settlement, it never once volunteered the supreme fact about Rod’s case:
For third-party settlements involving UM, the law says workers’ compensation gets no repayment.
Luckily, Rod had me. I pointed out the law to the insurance company attorney, humbly asserting Rod would repay nothing.
And that’s exactly what happened. As a result, he got way more money in his pocket from his wreck settlement.
I’m thankful Rod came to us for help. While he might’ve been a little skeptical of lawyers at first, he made it clear that our communication with him, hard work on his case, and knowledge of the law won him over. In the end, that’s what good lawyers are for- to do hard things for folks that folks can’t do for themselves.