An issue frequently arises when a working person injured in a construction or demolition accident, or by a defective scaffold, has both a Workers’ Compensation and a Negligence, or Personal Injury case–how should the lawyers handle settlements on each of the cases, and are the lawyers acting together and coordinating their efforts for the benefit of the injured worker whose life has changed forever by his injury and disability?
It is important to remember that the workers’ compensation insurance company has the legal right to take out of the personal injury settlement a large amount of the money it has paid the injured worker in lost wages and medical treatment and surgery. Sometimes, settling a workers’ compensation case for a lump sum of cash is an excellent move, but sometimes it will put an undue burden on the personal injury attorney to settle the personal injury case.
Every day, I work with some of the finest personal injury attorneys in New York, and at times we will coordinate what is called a “Global” settlement–that is, we are able to get the workers’ compensation insurance company to sacrifice a portion, and sometimes a very large portion, of the money it is owed, as part of a settlement arrangement where both the workers’ compensation and the personal injury cases are settled and closed. This puts more money in the hands of our clients–a great result!
Whether workers’ compensation and negligence, or personal injury, cases are settled in a “global” settlement, or individually, it is important that you, the injured person, ask as many questions of your lawyers as you can, to make sure that you are being properly represented in your construction, scaffolding, demolition, or other traumatic accident, and that you fully understand your rights so that you can make the decision that is best for you and your family.