What happens if I am injured in an auto accident while on the job?

by Ryan P. Richie

In Maryland, if a client has been injured in an automobile accident as a result of someone else’s negligence while he/she was working, the client may have two claims: a workers’ compensation claim and a third party claim against the negligent person.  Coordinating the recoveries in these two claims in order to maximize a client’s recovery is important.  Maryland law requires that the workers’ compensation carrier is required to be paid back for any monies paid by the workers’ compensation carrier out of any recovery from the negligent party.  In addition, if the negligent party does not have enough insurance coverage for all of the client’s injuries, the client may have an under-insured motorist claim.  If, however, there is not enough money from the negligent party’s insurance to pay back the workers’ compensation carrier’s full lien amount, then the under-insured motorist carrier will get a credit for the amount paid by the workers’ compensation carrier and not paid back.

Question: Can the Plaintiff’s attorney and the workers’ compensation carrier agree that the workers’ compensation carrier will accept less than its full lien amount as full and final payment of its lien, so as to avoid a credit by the under-insured motorist carrier?

Answer: No, the under-insured motorist carrier will still get a credit for the amount that is not paid back to the workers’ compensation carrier.  See Blackburn v. Erie Ins. Group, 185 Md. App. 504 (2009)