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How i can avoid a lien on my personal injury settlement

Carol Stream, IL |

I was in a car accident 6 months ago(not at fault) at work and workman's comp paid my hospital bills .We are about to settle this case now but they want to put a lien on my personal injury case.Can i avoid this somehow or the responsible party for the accident have to pay them thank you

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Attorney answers 7


You need to discuss this with your attorney or if you are not represented by counsel you should immediately contact an IL personal injury and/or workers compensation attorney. The general answer to your question is that the workers compensation carrier has a right by statute to seek recovery of their paid benefits against a third party defendant(s). These liens can often be reduced by the third party attorney. However, this is a complex area of the law & requires the assistance of legal professional to maximize your recovery. I am a California attorney not licensed in IL & not knowledgeable regarding their laws. Speak to local counsel before making any settlement decision.

This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.


Make sure you lawyer negotiates this lien down before you sign the release.


Talk to your work comp atty and orinjury lawyer. if you dont have atty representing you, you should immediately consult one before settling the comp case. I dont know Il law, but generally, the comp carrier can sue the 3d party itself for reimbursement of benefits paid to you, or can assert a lien against your case against the deft. These can be tricky overlapping cases, and you should have counsel helping you.


You can't avoid paying the Lien but your attorney should negotiate it down quite a bit for you.

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Workers' Compensation in Illinois has a lien on repayment of the monies it paid out for TTD, medical, and permanency PPD, IF you recover from a third party. So, your choices are to either not bother with the PI case, arrange to settle the WC case and "waive" the lien, or determine how to reduce the WC lien within the bounds of the law.

It is really too late to do most of these so your best and probably only option is to have a lawyer help you negotiate the reduction of the WC lien and make sure whatever settlement you receive for the PI case is enough to cover this figure. Very confusing stuff. I'd be happy to work through it with you.

Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
Chicago, IL

This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.

Stephen Laurence Hoffman

Stephen Laurence Hoffman


And just to further make things difficult, it is hard to explain exactly the formula for negotiation of the WC lien. Definitely seek counsel.


The workers' compensation carrier has a legal right to recover 75% of the amount paid out for medical bills, TTD, and any permanency out of your personal injury settlement. The carrier may, but is not required to, reduce it further depending on the circumstances. If the workers' compensation lien is more than the personal injury settlement or judgment, the carrier is entitled to 75% of the personal injury settlement or judgment. Consult an attorney.


The only way to avoid the lien is to negotiate a waiver of the lien as a part of your workers comp settlement. The lien is statutory, and defense lawyers always include language in the settlement contract that reaffirms the employers lien rights against a potential personal injury case. They will rarely waive this right, but it can be achieved sometimes through negotiation of an overall deal. If you have already signed a contract containing this language, the lien cannot be avoided.

In dealing with a workers comp lien, or any lien, your personal injury lawyer may be able to achieve a reduction of the lien through negotiation.

I believe that an injury victim who has the chance to file both a workers comp case and a personal injury case from the same event is better served by retaining one attorney skilled in both areas to handle and coordinate both cases.

Steven A. Sigmond
Law Office of Steven A. Sigmond
345 N. Canal #1208
Chicago, IL 60606

(312) 756-1186

Steven A. Sigmond offers confidential fee consultations to anyone who has been injured in an accident or hurt at work. However, a free consultation is not legal advice. This answer is general information and should not be considered "legal advice." Proper legal advice can only be obtained after hiring an attorney and providing full information regarding your case.

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