Automobile Insurance: Does Worker’s Compensation Carrier Have the Right to Get Repaid From Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Recoveries in Work-Related Motor Vehicle Accidents in Virginia?
Jeffrey Breit—February 8, 2016
In many instances, the motor vehicle accident victim has both a third party claim against the negligent driver as well as a worker’s compensation claim if the accident occurred while the victim was working. In such instances, when there is a claim made for uninsured (“UM”) or underinsured (“UIM”) motorist benefits, it is imperative that the victim’s lawyer be aware of Virginia law regarding the interaction of UM/UIM coverage and worker’s compensation benefits.
If the UM/UIM coverage is provided by an insurance policy carried by and at the expense of the victim’s employer, then the employer has a right of subrogation against any UM/UIM benefits that the victim recovers. Va. Code Section 65.2-309.1. However, this right of subrogation does not extend to UM/UIM benefits recovered by the victim from his or her own personal motor vehicle policy. Va. Code Section 38.2-2206.
Virginia’s UM statute, Va. Code Section 38.2-2206, sets forth the priority of UM/UIM coverage available under multiple policies. Generally, this priority is: 1. the policy covering the motor vehicle occupied by the victim; 2. the policy covering a motor vehicle not involved in the accident under which the victim is a named insured; and 3. the policy covering a motor vehicle not involved in the accident under which the victim is an insured other than a named insured. Consequently, in a typical situation, where the victim is injured while driving an employer furnished vehicle, the victim’s own family automobile policy would provide the second layer of UM/UIM coverage. Any UM or UIM recovery the victim obtained from such family automobile policy would not have to be paid back to the worker’s compensation carrier.
By Jeffrey Breit
Jeffrey Breit is driven to be the best in personal injury legal representation and has had far-reaching accomplishments that will be felt for years to come. Throughout a successful career as a personal injury lawyer in Virginia Beach and the larger state of Virginia, Jeffrey Breit has continued to work hard to improve the reputation of attorneys representing injured people, as well as training the next generation of trial lawyers.
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