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What is the Worker's Compensation lien in a Connecticut car accident case.

Peter J. Bartinik, Jr.
Civil Trial Attorney, Practicing Law in Connecticut

What is the Connecticut Worker’s Compensation lien, and how does it affect your Connecticut car accident case?

Summary:

If you are in a Connecticut car accident, and you pursue a personal injury claim for compensation for your injuries, then you might have to deal with the Worker’s Compensation lien.  If your injury occurred on the job, and you filed a Worker’s Compensation claim, then you will be forced to pay back your Worker’s Compensation carrier for the benefits you received.

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What is Worker’s Compensation in Connecticut?

When you suffer an injury on the job, you can’t sue your employer even if your employer was negligent.  But you can file a Worker’s Compensation claim, and you have the right to receive Worker’s Compensation benefits regardless of fault.  So, this means you can receive benefits even if you were negligent.  You only need to prove the injury occurred on the job, and your injuries were caused from this on-the-job injury.

What are the most common Worker’s Compensation benefits?

  1. Wage replacement benefits-called temporary total disability benefits.
  2. Permanent disability benefits-called permanent partial disability benefits.
  3. Medical care. 

What does the term “Worker’s Compensation lien” mean?

The term “Worker’s Compensation lien” means the right of employer or the employer’s worker’s compensation insurance carrier to be paid back a sum of money equal to the benefits paid to the claimant when the claimant also receives compensation from a third party for injuries in a personal injury case.  This rule will apply when you have a Connecticut car accident case, and that car accident occurred on the job.  Since the car accident happened on the job, you have the right to file a Worker’s Compensation claim.  If you receive Worker’s Compensation benefits, then at the end of your car accident case, you will have to pay back your employer for those benefits. 

The statutory authority for the lien is found in Connecticut General Statute § 31-293(a).

Important amendments were added to the Connecticut lien statute effective in the middle of 2011. 

The amendment was designed to cure abuses by the Worker’s Compensation insurance industry that occurred when the insurance company took the entire personal injury settlement from the claimant as pay back for the lien.   Since the middle of 2011, the rule is that a amount to be reimbursed is to be reduced by one-third, and that one-third goes directly to the employee.   After all it is the employee’s lawyer that is doing all of the work prosecuting the third party defendant.   The employee/claimant is the one paying the lawyer, not the Worker’s Compensation insurance company.  Why shouldn’t the lien be reduced as compensation for the fact that the insurance company is receiving free legal work paid for by the employee/claimant?

The statutory authority for the 2011 amendment referenced above is Public Act 11-205.

If you have been in a car accident and you were also on the job at the time of the accident contact the lawyers a The Bartinik Law Firm, P.C., 100 Fort Hill Road, Groton, Connecticut.

If you have any questions about a car accident case in Connecticut feel free to call the lawyers at The Bartinik Law Firm, P.C., 100 Fort Hill Road, Groton, Connecticut at 860-445-8521 or toll free at 888-717-4211.


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