Having a workers comp and a personal injury certainly complicates things. However, this is a situation that does happen and this article discusses the unique situation of being injured before or after a workers’ comp claim. As with most things in the law, it will depend on a multitude of things. The question we often get is: “How will filing a personal injury claim affect my existing workers compensation claim?” The short answer is, it depends on how your attorney and or attorneys (plural). Some people hire multiple attorneys, some people hire one that can handle everything. This is because everyone handles cases a bit differently.
A common example of this type of situation is as follows.
Ernie was injured at work through no fault of his own. While he was on his way to the doctors one afternoon, he was hit by a driver who ran a red light at an intersection. This later injury furthered Ernie’s already existing pain and inability to work. In this situation, as you can probably see, there are some questions that the insurance companies will ask.
The insurance company for the auto insurance will likely want to blame his injury on the original workers comp injury. The original workers company insurance carrier will surely want to blame his pain and extended suffering on the later injury. Where is the line drawn and what can poor Ernie do?
Ernie should hire an experienced Georgia lawyer who can handle these situations. If Ernie decides to hire multiple lawyers, the outcome of the case will depend on how each lawyer handles the claim and structures the claim. For example, are the lawyers working together or against one another? These decisions can affect Ernie.
The things that you should know is if you have a worker’s compensation claim, they’re likely going to try to assert what is called a ‘Right of Subrogation” or “Right of Reimbursement”. They mean the same thing and refer to the insurance carrier who is paying all the benefits out on the workers compensation claim will potentially attempt to get involved with your personal injury claim to make sure that they’re paid back. Be sure to read our article on that subject.
The rules of subrogation can be tricky. It’s important that you have an attorney to help you with that, as that gets complicated. So specific information is important, which will help determine if, in fact, the workers compensation carrier is entitled to be paid back or not. Many factors go into that decision.
Having both a workers comp and a personal injury means it’s very important that you speak with a Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney. Ty has extensive experience working with complex cases that involve BOTH workers’ comp AND a personal injury. He can help you determine the best course of action and he knows how to communicate with the insurance companies that will be involved for each party.