Workers' Compensation

Arizona: Injured Worker May Not Use Post-Settlement Trial to Determine Level of Employer’s Fault in Order to Reduce Insurance Carrier’s Lien

In Arizona, as in virtually all other jurisdictions, an insurance carrier providing workers’ compensation benefits to an injured worker enjoys a lien on a claimant's (or a claimant's dependents') recovery from third persons who negligently injured or killed the claimant to the extent of workers' compensation benefits paid (less reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in securing the recovery). Generally speaking, however, in Arizona, the insurance carrier may assert the lien only to the extent that the compensation benefits paid exceed the employer's proportionate share of the total damages fixed by verdict in the third-party action. The Supreme Court of Arizona held that a claimant who settles all of his or her third-party claims is not entitled to a post-settlement trial to determine the percentage of employer fault solely to reduce or extinguish the insurance carrier's lien. 

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law(LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. 

See Twin City Fire Ins. Co. v. Leija, 2018 Ariz. LEXIS 225(Aug. 2, 2018)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 117.01.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law