Injured workers are usually limited to medical benefits and financial compensation only through workers comp. But a personal injury lawyer explains there's a critical exception that can help some injured workers get higher settlements.
Getting More From A Workers' Comp Lawsuit
We're talking about when you can get more than a workers' comp allowed. Usually the only money the injured worker can get is workers' comp benefits. The exception is when someone who doesn't work for your employer causes your injury. You might have a claim against that person or business for damages, including pain and suffering you can't get under workers' comp. It’s called a third-party action. The classic example is when you get hurt drive for work or you might get hurt by defective machine. When you have a third-party action you still get comp but you don't get the best of both worlds without a catch.
Here’s the catch. The workers' comp insurance company has a right to be paid back. It’s called a workers compensation lien. You're going to need a lawyer to help you out with this, just calculating the amount of the lien can be really complicated. We also work to negotiate with workers' comp insurance carrier to reduce its lien or just give it up altogether so you get more money in the end. Usually these settlements require approval by the Workers Compensation Commission and you can't come to an agreement you might have to go to a contested hearing in front of a commission. If you don't have a lawyer to help you with your workers compensation and third-party action you've got to be extremely careful. You can lose your rights to workers' compensation if settle your third-party action before you settle your comp case or if you don't properly notify certain parties in the workers' comp case that you filed a lawsuit in the third party actions. If you've hired us, don't worry about it, we're on it. If you haven't, call us for a free meeting talk about how we can ease your mind. I thank you for thinking about this with me.