TWO FIRMS ARE NOT BETTER THAN ONE (PART 1)
If you sustain injuries connected to your employment that were caused, in whole or in part, by a person or company other than your employer (at least in most cases) or a co-worker, it is highly recommended that you retain a law firm that handle both workers’ compensation matters as well as third-party civil litigation actions.
The reason this is recommended is because of the interplay between the two types of litigation. Specifically, in the vast majority of cases, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier or the self-insured employer will seek reimbursement for all benefits paid to you or on your behalf and they will pursue said reimbursement by becoming a part of your other lawsuit against, for example, a negligent third party person or company.
The legal thought process is that they only reason the workers’ compensation carrier or self-insured employer is paying monetary benefits or providing medical care is because of the injuries caused by fault of someone else. As such, they seek reimbursement from that other party (“third party”) typically by entering into your third-party case and seeking reimbursement. This affects the amount of money you get as a gross settlement is reached from which they seek reimbursement, leaving other monies to be divided for other costs, attorneys fees and, ultimately, and amount remaining for you – your “net” figure.
Again, if this is not enough, in most cases, whatever you “net” in your third party litigation becomes a credit against any other benefits, monetary or medical, that you would otherwise be entitled to, through your Workers’ Compensation matter.