Do I have to pay back my worker’s compensation benefits in New York if I settle a lawsuit for a construction accident?

Well, the bad news is that you do have to pay it back to the compensation carrier. The good news is that you don’t have to pay it back in full because it will cost you litigation expenses to make a recovery and that includes attorney’s fees and the other expenses that go along with a lawsuit. Even though you don’t pay them directly, the lawyer charges the fee from the money you get from the lawsuit. Nevertheless, that is taken out of your recovery so when the comp lien has to be paid, we call it a lien, anything they paid out, the lien on your case to get it back, they will reduce that lien by the same percentage of expense that you had to pay. So yes, they will get paid back but only a percentage, only a share, proportionate share, and that’s why it’s very important to make sure that a recovery is adequate and that any settlement is made with the compensation carrier’s consent because otherwise you can lose all your comp benefits. You must have a lawyer for this.

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