“What does my Worker’s Compensation claim have to do with my law suit for personal injuries?”
The question is not specific about the type of case you have. There are many different types of cases that have both a lawsuit and a Worker’s Compensation claim. This article will cover two of the more common types of claims.
One type of case occurs when a person is injured in a motor vehicle accident on the job. A person who is making a delivery on the job would be a typical case. When that person is injured making a delivery they have two potential claims. One claim is for medical expenses and lost wages through Worker’s Compensation paid for through the employer’s insurance carrier. A second claim for pain and suffering is made against the wrong doer who caused the accident. A person who makes a claim for pain and suffering cannot collect a settlement without the consent of the Worker’s Compensation carrier. In the case of a motor vehicle accident, that consent is easily obtained as long as the Compensation carrier pays the same benefits as motor vehicle no-fault insurance carrier.
A second type of case occurs when a person is injured on the job in a trip and fall accident. A construction worker who falls at a construction site would be a typical case. That construction worker also has two claims. One claim is for medical expenses and lost wages through Worker’s Compensation paid for through the employer’s insurance carrier. A second claim for pain and suffering is made against the wrong doer who caused the accident. In a construction site accident, that wrong doer is typically a general contractor. In the case of a construction site accident, the Compensation carrier has a lien on the recovery from the personal injury suit. Your attorney can work to reduce that lien, but section 29 of the New York Worker’s Compensation Law entitles Compensation Carriers to the lien and the injured worker risks obtaining Compensation benefits in the future if the lien is ignored.
There are many more details left out of this discussion, but you should know that there is a relationship between Compensation claims and personal injury claims because the legislature said so. To ignore this relationship could jeopardize future Compensation benefits.