Understanding Workers’ Compensation Liens

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Liens

Most workers in the state of Florida are covered by their employers’ workers’ compensation coverage if they suffer an injury or illness on the job. If they are hurt, they can file a claim with the employer to receive benefits. However, if there is a third party involved, the process becomes much more complicate.

If you are in an accident that involves a third party while you are on the job, you may have the ability to receive both workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury damages – but one has to be repaid from the other.

Understanding the Concept of No Double Recoveries

Under normal situations, when a worker suffers an injury on the job, they will file a claim with their employer and go through the proper state process to get benefits and have their medical treatment covered. However, if they suffer an injury during an accident that involves a third party, they may be able to receive benefits from the third party – the situation that occurs most commonly is if the worker is involve in a car accident while on an errand for their employer Wit this situation, the worker could file a claim with their auto insurer to receive reimbursement for their related costs (this is because Florida is considered a no-fault state regarding auto accidents).

However, after workers’ compensation benefits are approved, it creates an obligation to reimburse the employer or the employer’s insurance carrier for what is covered. The obligation is called the workers’ compensation lien. It will be capped at the total amount of the worker’s net recovery. This means you won’t be in a situation where you owe your employer money just because the accident and injury involved a third party. However, in the state of Florida, your employer has the right to recover to ensure there are no situations of double recoveries for employees.

The Manfredo Formula

In some situations, the workers’ compensation lien will be waived by the employer. This is done in exchange for settling the claim for less than they may have in another situation. However, if employers don’t waive the lien, the next process is to determine the amount of a worker’s recovery should go to the employer and how much the employee is allowed to keep. The method used to determine this is referred to as the Manfredo Formula, which was named based on a Supreme Court case in the state – unfortunately, this is a challenging formula for the average person to understand and use.

In simple terms, if you suffer an injury on the job because of the actions of a third party, it is essential to be aware that any damages that are received will probably have to be repaired to the insurance carrier for the employer. There are many people who fail to plan for this possible outcome, and if you don’t, you may discover you owe money you did not expect to unless an agreement can be reached. This is why it is important to understand both your options and your obligations.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Help

If you have suffered an injury while on the job, you need to make sure you fully understand your rights Our law team is here to help review your case and answer any questions you may have. To learn more, contact our legal team at Scott J. Sternberg & Associates P.A. by calling (561) 687-5660.

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