August 2013 Subrogation Newsletter
In a Seinfeld episode, a frightened Kramer is lost and calls Jerry from a phone booth somewhere in Manhattan. Jerry asks him to look for a street sign and Kramer responds that he’s at the intersection of 1st Street and 1st Avenue, concluding that he must be at the “nexus of the universe.” This scene provides a perfect example of a bizarre situation in life where common sense seems to have all but vanished. The situation in Florida involving the intersection between PIP and workers’ comp is another perfect example. When a Florida employee is injured in a motor vehicle accident while in the course of his employment, he may be entitled to medical and lost wage benefits from workers’ comp and no-fault PIP insurance simultaneously.
Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. has compiled a list of the various laws in every state dealing with whether the state is a contributory negligence state (bars recovery with only 1% of fault by the plaintiff) or a comparative negligence state recovery by plaintiff is reduced or prohibited based on the percentage of fault attributed to the plaintiff), and whether the state is a pure comparative or modified comparative state. This list is useful in evaluating subrogation potential where there may be contributory negligence on the insured’s part. Each state has different comparative fault rules and different joint and several liability laws. Understanding each is critical to evaluating and pursuing subrogation cases on a national basis.
When an employee is involved in a motor vehicle accident while in the course of his employment and the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, the question arises as to whether the employee can recover under his employer’s UM/UIM policy as well as recover workers’ comp benefits. We recently received a question via our website’s “Ask A Question” feature which read: “Can an employee receive worker’s comp and UM benefits at the same time? Is that considered a double recovery?” You might think that the answer is clear and that making a double recovery should be prohibited. However, depending on the state involved, the answer might surprise you.
Gary L. Wickert will be presenting a complimentary live webinar on “New York Automobile Subrogation” from 10:00-11:00 a.m. (CDT) on October 23, 2013. Noah Gradofsky, a New York attorney with the Law Offices of Jan Meyer & Associates, PC, will be a guest co-presenter at this webinar. This webinar is approved for 1.0 Texas CE credits and is free to clients and friends of MWL. A registration link can be found on our website homepage, but you can click HERE to register now.