Can my husband collect on his short-term disability insurance and still be reimbursed by the at-fault drivers insurance for lost wages?

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Can my husband collect on his short-term disability insurance and still be reimbursed by the at-fault drivers insurance for lost wages?

My husband has been told he cannot return to work until he is 100% better and without a diagnosis we don’t know when that will be. Work told him he can file his short-term disability claim (paying 60-70% of wages) but we are worried that the at-fault driver’s insurance will then not reimburse him for lost wages. Should we take the disability or will we be shooting ourselves in the foot?

Asked on August 3, 2010 under Accident Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Taking the short-term disability payments shouldn't cost you anything in the long run, and it will make life easier now, when you need it most.  I'd strongly recommend having an attorney handle your claim against the other driver, who can give you detailed advice.

At best, an at-fault driver in this situation could seek to have the insurance benefit deducted from his liability, and pay only for "unreimbursed" wage losses.  However, it's also quite possible that, if this could be recognized, the insurance company could also sue the at-fault driver, in the name of the injured insured (your husband), for what the driver's negligence forced them to pay out.  It's called subrogation.

One way or another, your husband should get his full lost wages, if the other driver was 100% at fault.


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