However, there are also times when injured workers may be able to lawsuits against third parties responsible for their injuries. This can include lawsuits against property owners, product liability claims, and traditional personal injury claims. When pursuing both workers’ compensation and third-party damages, this can lead to something called subrogation. Here, the Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at Gross & Kenny, LLP want to discuss how subrogation can affect third-party claims and how much money injury victims actually receive.
What is Subrogation?
Subrogation is a legal right that most insurance companies have to pursue legal action against a third party whose actions led to an insurance loss for the insured. In the event that employees file a subrogation claim, insurance companies execute this right to recover the amount of the claim that is paid by the insurance company for the loss. In subrogation, one person or party stands in the place of another person or party. It is a legal right that helps establish the rights that the insurance company has before and after paid claims have been made against a policy. It also helps make the process of reaching a settlement under an insurance policy easier.
Types of Illnesses that are Covered by Workers’ Compensation
Employees are able to seek workers’ compensation benefits for short-term and long-term injuries from the job. Many employees pursue workers’ compensation benefits for injuries that were caused by job-related activities over a long period of time. Some examples of long-term illnesses that are covered under workers’ compensation benefits include chronic back issues and repetitive stress injuries.
Common Scenarios for Subrogation Claims
Some of the common scenarios where employees are entitled to file a subrogation claim are slip-and-fall accidents, motor vehicle accidents, dog bites, assault incidents, and product liability claims. The top three claims revolve around motor vehicle accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, and dog bites.
For example, a delivery driver who is struck by an aggressive driver in a motor vehicle accident is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that can be paid from the insurance company of the at-fault driver. With a slip-and-fall accident, an employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if the employer’s negligence can be proven. If a homeowner’s dog bites a contractor or a delivery person, the person’s homeowner’s insurance policy may be able to cover the employee’s workers’ compensation costs.
Reasons for Employers or Insurance Carriers to Waive Their Subrogation Rights
When an employer or insurance company waives their subrogation rights, they contractually waive their right to seek compensation for the losses caused by a negligent third party. Some employers or insurance companies may choose to waive their subrogation rights in an attempt to avoid prolonged litigation.
Other reasons for employers and insurance companies to waive their subrogation rights are preventing or resolving any conflict between two parties. Waiving subrogation rights prohibits employers and insurance companies from being held responsible for losses that they did not cause.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP Understand the Complexities of Subrogation
Understanding the ability of an insurer or employer to recoup their own losses from your settlement of third-party liability claims is of paramount importance before filing a suit. Injured employees who are aware of how their recovery could be subrogated can make more informed decisions about how they will pursue an award of damages for their pain and suffering. For these reasons, employees must closely scrutinize the terms of their employers’ workers’ compensation plan. Since 1991, the Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP, have been leaders in their field, aggressively pursuing benefits on behalf of clients throughout the region. Contact us at 215-512-1500 or complete this online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation at our Philadelphia offices.