is it legal for the employer to have a lien on a employee third party case.

the employer and employee was not the cuase of the accident it was the d.u.i. driver,since the accident i am the one with out a job and work restrictions that make impossible to get one.

Asked on June 15, 2009 under Accident Law, California


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you had a workers compensation claim, and the employer is self-insured for that, then it's not at all illegal.  Part of what keeps the workers compensation system affordable is exactly this type of lien, when benefits have been paid but there's a third party with substantial fault.  Usually, it's an insurance company that has the lien, after paying the compensation benefits, but some larger employers can qualify as self-insured.

This isn't really unfair at all.  Your lawsuit against the DUI driver will get a verdict or settlement that isn't any different than it would be if it had happened while you weren't on the job and got the same injuries.  The lien just prevents you from collecting double, at the expense of the workers compensation system.

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