Joint Cases – Workers’ Compensation and Car Accidents

Joint Cases – Workers’ Compensation and Car Accidents


Hi, this is David Henson with HensonFuerst
Attorneys in North Carolina. I had an interesting case this morning, involving a man who was
driving a delivery truck for his employer� when he was seriously injured in an automobile
wreck. He required surgery for his injuries, and will likely be out of work for more than
a year while he learns how to walk again. Our client had gotten a lot of �advice�
from his friends and family. Unfortunately, most of it was wrong. Now, the most important thing to consider,
is that when you are working and are hurt on the job due to someone else’s negligence,
AND the person who caused injury to you is NOT a co-worker, then you actually have TWO
possible legal cases. First, since you were on the job, you would
have a worker’s compensation claim with your employer. Second, in ADDITION to the WC claim, you would
also have a personal injury claim against the person who hurt you. In the case of my
client this morning, he would be making a claim against the other driver who caused
the car wreck, and he would also have a WC claim. If you find yourself in this situation, and
your injuries are minor, then you may not need a lawyer for both cases. You may be able
to handle one or both of the claims on your own and save some money. BUT, if your injuries
are serious, such as in the case of my client who required surgery, OR if you have sustained
PERMANENT injuries, then you will likely need a lawyer to help you sort all of this out. Why? Good question. When you are seriously
hurt and have BOTH a WC claim AND a personal injury claim—in this case for the car wreck—things
get messy pretty quickly. Your employer or their WC insurance company, will have a legal
interest in your automobile wreck case. This means, that when you settle your case, they
are going to want some of their money back for all the medical bills, lost wages, and
other things that they paid on your behalf. And that money will come out of your settlement
proceeds. In other words they are going to be sticking their hand in your pocket, trying
and get some of their money back. The problem arises, however, because you cannot
settle and fully resolve your CAR WRECK case, because the amount that gets taken out to
pay back to workers comp depends on how much WC paid in the first place. BUT, settlement
of the workers comp case can be dependent on what is going on in your car wreck case.
I know that sounds complicated…but basically, you can end up with a catch-22 where you need
to try and resolve both cases in conjunction with one another! You will need to strategically
plan and consider that whatever you do in one of the cases, will likely affect what
happens in the other case. My job as the workers comp and personal injury
lawyer is to make sure that I handle both cases at the same time, so we can put you
in the best possible position to resolve both cases. We want to MAXIMIZE your recovery,
while MINIMIZING what has to be paid to others, meaning minimize how much money they get to
take out of your pocket. In the end, cases that involve both a WC and
a PI claim can get very complicated very quickly. My advice is that if you have serious injuries
that require surgery OR permanent injuries, then you need an experienced lawyer handling
both claims for you at the same time. If your injuries are minor, then you may be able to
handle one or both of the claims on your own, but it might be a good idea to call and get
some free advice from a lawyer on the front end just to make sure you know what to do. This is DH with HF. If you have additional
questions, go to our website at www.lawmed.com, or you can email me at [email protected]
If you have questions, we have answers.

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