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Your Atlanta, Georgia Legal Questions Answered: Can a workers’ compensation insurance carrier take some of the money I receive for dog bite injuries suffered on the job?

Published February 12, 2018 by Bruce Millar

Your Atlanta, Georgia Legal Questions Answered:  Can a workers compensation carrier or other insurance company take part of my settlement?  Maybe – if your rights are not properly protected. If you are bitten by a dog while doing your job, such as many postal workers and other deliverymen are, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation for your injuries. If you go on to receive a settlement or verdict from the dog owner’s insurer, the workers’ comp insurer would have a right to ask for its money back. But, in our opinion, this should not dissuade you from pursuing a claim.

Workers’ compensation benefits are intended to cover medical bills and pay stipends to make up for a portion of lost wages when a worker is injured while performing the duties of their job. Compensation received in a dog bite personal injury claim are intended to cover not only medical bills and lost income or pay, but also property damage, such as torn clothing, and the victim’s pain and suffering.

Under Georgia law, a workers’ compensation insurance company  is only entitled to recover the medical bills it covered and lost wage benefits it paid you if the insurance carrier is able to prove that the victim was “made whole” for the entirety of all of the losses the victim suffered.  An experienced personal injury should be familiar with the laws and rules governing such reimbursements, and can advise you whether a workers compensation insurance company is entitled to be reimbursed, and in what (if any) amount.

Because a workers compensation insurer is unlikely to voluntarily honor the “made whole” rule (that is, they will ask you to repay them in full, even if you were not fully compensated), we encourage all of our clients and anyone who has been hurt on the job to speak  with our Atlanta Dog Bite Attorneys or another Georgia personal injury law firm before allowing the insurer to claim part of your settlement.  Don’t make a potentially expensive mistake because you were afraid to, or did not want to, talk to an attorney.

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