When an injured worker in a Connecticut work related accident asserts a civil third party claim against a wrongdoer / tortfeasor, the employer through its insurance carrier has a right to be paid back for the indemnity and medical compensation benefits paid under Connecticut General Statute 31-293.
A battle between the employer and the employee that has arisen for many years has been whether the employer would voluntarily reduce its work related lien by a percentage to encourage the claimant to prosecute his third party civil case.
For many years, where there existed a weak civil third party claim, the employer would make some concession on lien reimbursement under the general theory that getting something back was better than getting nothing back. However, with tougher economic times, workers' compensation insurance carriers had been taking some hard line positions requesting substantial reimbursement with almost no lien reimbursement reduction. The net result was that it was difficult to convince a workers' compensation carrier to reduce their statutory lien after the payment of atttorney fees and costs.
The Connecticut legislature has helped the Connecticut worker and addressed this topic by amending Connecticut General Statute 31-293. By statute after July 1, 2011, the employer's lien is reduced by one-third by operation of law. However, this reduction does not apply to an employee of the State of Connecticut or an employee of a political subdivision of the State of Connecticut.This legislative amendment will offer some general predictability for settlement purposes.
The Rotatori Law Firm has on some occasions convinced workers' compensation carriers to waive in total both the medical and indemnity work related lien. We have done this as part of a workers' compensation full and final stipulation settlement. We have then proceeded to prosecute the third party action without having to pay back the workmans' compensation employer insurance carrier. Talk to a skilled Stamford workers' comp attorney at our firm today.