September 28, 2021
Workers’ compensation (WC) carriers are struggling to maximize subrogation recoveries due to a rising loss of consortium claims. In a Q&A interview with PropertyCasualty360, Senior Counsel & Chair Associate Saerim Luciano explains the background of the problematic trend and provides insight on how this is impacting both the carriers and the cost of workers’ compensation, as well as how carriers can adapt to obtain a favorable outcome.
“A workers’ compensation carrier can only assert a credit in the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (in California) against the injured worker only,” Luciano said. “Therefore, if part of the civil settlement is allocated to the injured worker’s spouse, then that part of the settlement funds are untouchable.”
Luciano also noted that in order for employers to obtain favorable outcomes, they must be prepared to actively intervene and litigate damages. “This will put them in the optimal situation of recovering, thus removing the threat of any consortium claim losses,” she added.
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