Attorney Casey Woodruff Discusses Subrogation in Workers Comp Magazine

Vickie Douglas

Round table discussion about subrogation and workers’ compensation claims

Woodruff Johnson & Evans founder Casey Woodruff was honored to participate in a round table discussion about subrogation and third-party liability for “The Forum” column in the Spring 2019 edition of Workers Comp Magazine.

The exclusivity provision of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act prevents an injured employee from pursuing a personal injury claim against their employer for an injury sustained at work. However, in certain circumstances, there may exist a third party separate and apart from the employer who is also liable for the employee’s injuries. In order to maximize recovery, it is important for the injured employee’s workers’ compensation attorney to explore all avenues to determine whether a potential third-party defendant exists.

In “The Forum,” Casey discusses common situations in which third-party liability may arise. For example, Casey notes the attorneys at Woodruff Johnson & Evans frequently investigate whether an outside party may also be liable for the employee’s injury when the accident occurs at a construction site, where injuries commonly result from defective or malfunctioning equipment. If there exists a viable personal injury claim against a third party, this often results in increased recovery for the injured employee.

However, when both the employer and a third party are liable, this can give rise to subrogation issues. Subrogation occurs when one party, frequently the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, pays benefits that another party may ultimately be liable for, such as a construction company distinct from the employer. If an injured employee recovers compensation from the work comp carrier and then seeks additional recovery from a third party, the work comp carrier may attempt to recoup payments it made from the third party. By law, the work comp carrier is entitled to reimbursement for 75% of any benefits it paid to the injured employee out of any recovery that employee received from a third-party. It is important to assess each individual case and determine whether pursing a third-party claim is the best course of action to maximize the injured employee’s recovery.

If you suffered an injury at work, you need the skilled workers’ compensation attorneys at Woodruff Johnson & Evans to determine whether you may have a third party personal injury claim, and if so, to help you navigate through any issues that may arise regarding subrogation. As your legal advocates from start to finish, we will fight for what you need and deserve in the wake of an unexpected injury sustained on the job.

Interested in learning more about third party claims or subrogation issues? Please contact Woodruff Johnson & Evans today at (630) 585-2320 to discuss your workers’ compensation case. Consultations and initial evaluations are always free!


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