Scranton, PA asked in Workers' Compensation for Pennsylvania

Q: When I receive my accident lawsuit payment - do I have to: (1) PAY Workmans Comp, back the monetary settlement they gave

I drove a tractor trailer for a U.S. mail contractor/ was rear ended by a postal tractor trailer driver in N.J. ( I live in PA) - I was on workmans comp. for my back injuries.RECEIVED a SETTLEMENT from workmans comp a few months ago. A law suit payment is being finalized in less thn 2 weeks -- I have 3 questions - I just want to verify what my attorney told me - because people I have talked to said they have not heard of this information.( my bank - account advisor) my questions are listed above in the question box. Also I had to resign my job when I received my workmans comp settlement/ but I cannot work anyway. ----- the box above won't let me add anymore (2) do i have to pay back Workmans Comp. Medical/ they paid (3) DO I have to pay back Pa welfare ( I have their medical card) Do I have to pay these 3 things back ? a percentage? My lawyer says yes - out of an $800,000 settlement i will get just a little over $300,000 --is this really pssible ???

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2 Lawyer Answers

Alexander Palutis

  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Harrisburg, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: You are best served by following the advise of your attorney. If you would like a second opinion, you should directly contact a Pa Workers’ Compensation Certified Law Specialist in your area. Generally speaking, the employer and its workers’ compensation insurance company have an absolute right of subrogation against all recoveries in a third-party legal action arising out of the work injury for which the employer has paid or continues to pay workers’ compensation benefits. This can be found in Section 319 of the Pa Workers’ Compensation Act. The purpose of this section of the Act is to prevent a double recovery of damages arising out of the same incident. Again, you are best served to seek the advise of an attorney through direct contact as these issues are very complex and too numerous to expand upon in this setting. Good luck with your case.

Richard Alan Jaffe and Timothy Belt agree with this answer

Richard Alan Jaffe

  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: As you are currently represented by counsel, these questions would best be posed of your own Attorney, rather than here on this website.

Regardless, Section 319 of the Pennsylvania workers Compensation Act, as amended, is absolute, as is the Workers Compensation Carrier's entitlement to a Subrogation Lien on your 3rd party settlement. Without further information regarding the cost of litigation (your Attorney's Attorney Fee and litigation costs) and the amount of the Subrogation Lien one could not possibly determine whether, or not, the amount that you have cited in your question is the accurate amount that you should receive after both the Workers Compensation Carrier and your Attorney received their share of the recovery.

With respect to your resignation, this has unfortunately become a typical part of any Settlement in a Workers Compensation Claim and if you did not wish to resign, this should have been negotiated prior to your entering into the Compromise and Release Agreement.

Respect to your 3rd question, again, your Attorney would be the best person to respond as to whether, or not, there is a Medicare or Medicaid Lien that needs to be reimbursed out of your settlement.

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