The problems that arise in handling personal injury cases and the methods used in preparing and litigating these cases will best demonstrate the effectiveness of a personal injury lawyer. It is to the interest of the claim department to be aware constantly of the possibilities of third party recoveries. The attorney must, therefore, acquaint himself with the company’s rights and should solicit the aid of his supervisor when he has any questions.
Personal injury laws recognize the rights of an injured worker to claim damages from the person or party who caused his injuries, which claim damages from the person or party who caused his injuries, which claim is distinct from his claim for compensation. The claimant may need not elect which course to follow. He may receive the benefits of compensation and pursue hid third party remedy at the same time. His right for separate action is controlled by the limitations within the Law. He must, if he has accepted compensation, begin his action against the third party within six months of the date that the first award of compensation is made to him within one year from the date of accident.
If he fails to do this, the right to proceed against the third party passes to the employer or the employer’s insurance company. Some states also provide that the third party case shall not be assigned to the insurance company unless the claimant is properly notified, at least thirty days prior to the expiration of his time limit. After proper notice, the claimant’s failure to commence action will operate as an assignment to the employer of the employer’s insurance company.
The law gives insurance company a lien against any recovery made by the claimant from a negligent third party. This lien is served by the compensation carrier upon the third party. The investigator attorney must garner his information quickly so that the lien can be promptly filed.
In some states, the discontinuance of a third party action without obtaining the consent of the compensation company relieves both the company and the employer of liability. This rule is in effect inasmuch as the compromise of the wrongful action deprives the company of its right of subrogation and prevents it from being reimbursed for any benefit payments out of the proceeds of a possible recovery by the claimant. Seek out legal representation in these cases so it would be easier for you to work the case out.