When an individual is injured in an automobile accident, the medical bills that result from the ensuing medical treatment are often paid by a variety of sources. Before settling the injury claim, consideration must first be given to the existence of any Workers’ Compensation liens.
Workers’ Compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue his or her employer for the tort of negligence.
When an individual is injured in an accident, his or her medical bills may be paid by Workers’ Compensation. In this situation, state law imposes a lien against any proceeds received from a third party. The payment of this lien is often negotiated just prior to settlement. In the event an injured party receives these proceeds without paying the Workers’ Compensation lien, a civil action may be brought to recover these funds. The law provides that no compromise settlement shall be made by the employer in the exercise of a right of subrogation without first obtaining the approval of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission and the injured employee or the personal representative or dependents of the deceased employee.
When determining the proper amount to be repaid, one must consider the following: 1) any administrative expenses contained in workers’ compensation liens; 2) what Workers’
Compensation expenses are related to the injury sustained in the accident; and 3) the amount of attorneys’ fees to be paid in relation to the personal injury claim.
For more information regarding personal injury law, please contact an experienced attorney at the law firm of Paulson & Paulson, PLC.