If I settle without suing a restaurant where I was injured during a work function, will I have to pay back worker’s comp?

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2011

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If I settle without suing a restaurant where I was injured during a work function, will I have to pay back worker’s comp?

I broke my ankle at a restaurant where my company was hosting a dinner. I had to have surgery and now have screws and plates in my ankle. The restaurant wants to know if I plan to sue them. I think they want to settle without a lawsuit. But if I do settle will have have to pay back the medical bills covered by workman’s comp? Should I sue instead?

Asked on July 19, 2011 under Personal Injury, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In most states in this country if you are injured and are receiving worker's compensation benefits resulting from a work related injury and you settle with a person or entity who is not the employer for injuries caused, you have to reimburse a portion of the worker's compensation benefits received as a result of that injury.

In essence, under worker's compensation laws, the worker's compensation insurance carrier has a lien on your claim or lawsuit against the non-employer tortfeasor for benefits paid out. For you to receive worker's compensation benefits and the entirety of any settlement with the non-employer tortfeasor, you would end up with a double recovery for your damages.

Good question.

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