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What is Subrogation in Workers Comp?

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Collier Law, What is Subrogation in Workers' Comp

Workers’ compensation is a system that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill due to their job. Workers’ compensation benefits include medical expenses, income replacement, and death benefits.

Workers’ compensation is mandatory in North Carolina, meaning employers must provide coverage for their employees. However, one important aspect of workers’ compensation that some injured workers are unfamiliar with is subrogation.

Contact Collier Law today for help with your workers’ compensation claim and benefits.

What is a Subrogation Claim?

Subrogation is defined as the substitution of a person or group by another in respect to a debt or insurance claim, accompanied by the transfer of any associated rights and duties. Subrogation may exist in workers’ compensation claims where an employee is injured on the job due to a negligent third party.

A subrogation claim is a legal action the workers’ compensation insurance company takes to recover benefits from the third party that caused an insurance loss to the employer. Subrogation claims are made to recover the amount of the claim paid by the insurance carrier to the injured worker.

Examples of Workplace Injuries That Involve Subrogation

Common work-related injuries that may involve subrogation include:

  • Injuries caused by defective products owned or maintained by a third party
  • An injury sustained on a property owned by a third party
  • Injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident while on the job

Does Subrogation Affect the Injured Workers’ Claim?

Subrogation comes into play when the injured worker has both a (1) workers’ compensation claim and (2) a third party claim, such as a lawsuit against someone for a motor vehicle accident. Both claims have to arise from the same incident in order for subrogation to apply. 

There is a statute in North Carolina that gives the workers’ compensation insurance carrier or the self-insured employer a lien against any proceeds from the third party recovery. The lien is calculated by the amount of benefits workers comp has paid in lost wages and medical bills.

However, there are ways to reduce or even eliminate that lien. Contact Collier Law today to learn more about your rights and options in claims involving subrogation. 

How Collier Law Can Help You With the Workers’ Compensation Process

If you or someone you love has suffered a job-related injury or illness, call an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Collier Law for assistance with your workers’ comp case.

You are so much more than a number to us: we value our attorney-client relationship and getting the justice you deserve. We are advocates for injured employees. Call for a free consultation to find out how we may assist you.