Is it common for a lawyer to have your settlement and had to send it to workers’ comp before you can get your check?

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Is it common for a lawyer to have your settlement and had to send it to workers’ comp before you can get your check?

Asked on May 1, 2009 under Personal Injury, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is not only common, for a personal injury settlement to be affected by workers' compensation, it is usually required by law.

Your lawsuit settlement is payment for at least some of your lost wages and disability from the accident.  The same is true of your workers' comp payments.  Workers compensation is usually paid very quickly, because fault does not matter;  if you were hurt on the job, proof of that, and of your income, is all that is needed.  The lawsuit, of course, was more involved and took longer.

The Workers Compensation system is designed to get money to injured workers quickly.  But it is also designed to be as inexpensive to the employers (who pay premiums for separate insurance policies, to pay workers comp benefits) as possible.  So, to the extent your settlement is paying you a second time, for the loss already paid by your workers compensation benefits, the workers comp benefits get repaid to the insurance company.


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