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Gavel, Soundboard And Bundle Of Dollar Cash
Subrogation is a tool used by employers or their workers' compensation insurance carriers to seek reimbursement from a third party for the amounts paid to an injured worker. The employer's position is that the third party who caused the employee's injury should rightfully bear the burden of compensating the injured worker. In various forms, each state provides for subrogation. Some states have instituted no limits on an employer's right to seek reimbursement, others allow both the employer and the employee to maintain actions against the third party, and still others give either the employer or the employee priority in filing an action against the third party.
One way courts in some states have seen fit to address all the parties' interests is by allowing the joinder of one party into the action of another. For example, if the employee brings a third-party action, the employer or its insurer would be allowed to join the action as a plaintiff. However, it has been held that if a state's compensation statute does not include the right of joinder, it is not allowed. General rules of joinder are inapplicable in the workers' compensation arena. The reasoning is that only the workers' compensation act provides for the rights of the parties; thus, if a right is not found within the language of the statute, it does not exist.