Visitor Question

Will my previous insurance claim affect my current one?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Macomb, Michigan)

In 2004 I fell on a friend’s boat and injured my knee. They were using an empty cooler with a broken lid as a step for us to get into the boat. I hired an attorney to pursue a claim for my medical bills and lost wages. We settled out of court for $37,000.

Recently, I was injured in a 3rd party work accident. A fork truck driver at my work knocked over 6 metal bins that contained metal parts. This all fell on top of me at my work station, causing my face to be slammed onto the metal table I was working over.

I sustained multiple facial fractures. I will be having an implant and plates surgically placed for the orbital fractures. I also have diplopia for 10 weeks now. In addition, I have significant, displaced, comminuted fractures of the nasal bones, nasal septum, medial maxillary wall, and the medial and inferior orbital walls.

My question is, will my previous insurance claim from 2004 affect a new claim? 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 Anonymous,

You retained an attorney for your previous injury. If you are presently represented by an attorney, your interests would be best-served by heeding your attorney’s good advice and counsel.

There are three primary issues to be considered with your situation:

  1. You were injured at work. As a result, you are entitled to workers compensation benefits.
  2. You were injured by a third party forklift driver. Presuming the forklift driver was employed by a person or company other than your employer, then you will have a separate claim against the driver and their employer. This is assuming the forklift driver acted negligently, and your injuries were caused solely because of that negligence.
  3. Your prior injury will be reviewed by the insurance company. Because the injuries were completely separate and apart from your current injuries, your prior injuries will have little effect on your third party claim.

In the State of Michigan, workers compensation insurance companies have the right to subrogate against a worker for any amount they paid on behalf of the worker. As a result, it is likely any amount you recover from a third party action which represents the amount of compensation paid by the insurance company, will likely have to go back to the insurance company. Any remaining amount, such as compensation for your pain and suffering, will be yours to keep.

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: November 12, 2017

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