How Subrogation Could Affect Your Construction Accident Settlement?

Posted on behalf of James Lynch on October 14, 2019  in Workers' Compensation News. Updated on March 2, 2022

subrogation-document-gavel-deskConstruction accident victims may be able to file a third-party claim to pursue more compensation than is available in a workers’ compensation claim. However, if your claim is successful, the workers’ compensation insurer may be able to recover part of the settlement as reimbursement for benefits it already paid you.

Below, learn more about how this can happen and what the process may look like. If you have questions, feel free to contact the New Jersey construction accident lawyers at Lynch Law Firm, PC for a free legal consultation. We may be able to guide you through the legal process.

What is Subrogation?

Subrogation is when a third party, such as a workers’ compensation insurance company, assumes the right to collect compensation for damages it already paid out. For example, if you were injured in an accident while driving a company vehicle and you received workers’ compensation benefits from your employer along with compensation from the at-fault party’s insurer, the workers’ compensation insurer may have the right to be reimbursed for the benefits it paid out.

New Jersey Laws on Subrogation in Workers’ Comp Claims

The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law has a provision to prevent injury victims from recovering duplicate benefits for the same injury. Employers or their workers’ compensation insurance carriers can receive a credit for compensation you recover from a third party.

If you are awarded compensation from a third-party settlement and the gross amount is equal to or greater than your total compensation, the workers’ compensation insurer will generally be credited two-thirds of what the employer paid less $750.00.

If you recover compensation from a third-party settlement and the gross amount is less than the total amount of benefits received, the credit is usually two-thirds of the third-party settlement less $750.00.

If you have not yet received benefits from your employer, the amount owed to you by the employer will be reduced by the credit amounts. If the employer has been paying you benefits, it is obligated by law to continue doing so until you receive compensation from a third party or his or her insurance carrier.

What Happens When a Third-Party Claim is Not Filed Within One Year

If you do not file a third-party claim or reach a settlement of a third-party claim within one year of the accident, your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer can initiate a claim or try to reach a settlement with the third party. The employer or insurance carrier must wait 10 days after making a written demand to you.

If your employer or workers’ compensation insurer reach a settlement for your losses, any amount that is in excess of what you already received in benefits will be paid to you.

If you started a third-party claim but it was dismissed, your employer or its insurance carrier can seek to have the dismissal set aside and continue the case on your behalf. However, the employer or insurance carrier must submit an application within 90 days of the dismissal of your third-party claim.

Call Now for a No Cost, No Obligation Evaluation

The experienced attorneys at Lynch Law Firm, PC can review your claim for free to determine how we may be able to assist you. We are dedicated to recovering maximum compensation for your injury through a workers’ compensation claim and/or third-party lawsuit.

You are not obligated to hire us and there are no upfront fees unless we win your case.

Call Lynch Law Firm, PC at (800) 518-0508 to set up your free consultation.

* Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

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