RE: Can workmens comp do this?
Yes, the attorney gave you correct information. It's called subrogation.
When a third party is involved, generally WC will pay for your medical and other benefits without question, (no fault system) and then they have the right to subrogate against the person or company at fault.
In other words, the subrogating insurance company has the legal right to recover anything paid out on the workersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ compensation claim. As an example, if you received a total of $20,000.00 in compensation and medical benefits, the insurance company has the right to recover that amount from the person or company at fault. If your third party settlement was $200,000.00 and the subrogation was $20,000.00, you would have $180,000.00 as a settlement thru third party.
You're not off the hook yet. The $180,000.00 settlement from the third party is a "credit" on your WC case against future benefits.
You would not be entitled to any future workersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ compensation benefits until your future workersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ compensation claim exceeds $180,000.00.
The settlement with a third party usually ends the case, but not always. Before settling a third party case you should consult with a WC lawyer and make sure the settlement is adequate to cover future medical and wage loss. Your WC lawyer may also know a way to reduce the subrogation. Talk to several lawyers about this possibility, before you sign with any one lawyer.
Good luck to you!
Let Go, and Let God......