Visitor Question

Auto Accident and Workers Comp Case…

Submitted By: Pam (Connecticut)

I was involved in an auto accident, the other driver was found at fault, the accident occured when i was on company time, so that brought in workers compensation.

I got a lawyer and filed suit. It did not go to court, it was settled before that. I was offered about $11,000, which of course over $4,000 went to the lawyer, but $4,000 went to workers comp for the medical they paid out.

How come I was responsible for paying workers comp? This was a personal injury case that I had to pay my own lawyer for. Can I file a civil suit to get the $4,000 back from workers comp, and the loss of my vehicle and what i paid for a rental car? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Pam,

Any time another insurance steps in and pays out a claim for the fault of another, a department called subrogation can get involved. Subrogation claims are third party claims that must be reimbursed if a party receives settlement.

In this case, workers compensation paid some or all of your expenses. When you received settlement, workers compensation wanted to be reimbursed for what they paid. Now, if you had not received a settlement, subrogation likely would not have been triggered.

It is the unjust enrichment principle at play – if someone steps in and pays for your care, you would be unjustly enriched if you received a payout and did not go back and settle up with those who assisted you. They may be willing to settle for less than they paid however, so try to negotiate that bill down.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 28, 2011

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