Uninsured Motorist Credit In A Workers Compensation Case
- Posted By: Harvey Brown
- November 1, 2003
CALIFORNIA INSURANCE GUARANRTEE ASSOCIATION V. WCAB (MANGUM)
The applicant in this case filed a workers’ compensation case for a claim arising out of a car accident while at work.
The applicant settled with his automobile insurance carrier for the policy limit of $15,000. The applicant further received $85,000 from his automobile insurance carrier for the applicant’s under insured motorist coverage.
The applicant was found to have a compensable injury. The carrier was solvent at the time of the injury. The carrier became insolvent and California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) was joined in the workers’ compensation proceedings. CIGA asked for a credit from the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB). The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) denied the credit. CIGA filed a Petition for Reconsideration. The WCAB did not allow the credit.
A Writ was filed and the appellate court disagreed with the WCJ and the WCAB. The appellate court indicated that if the applicant had full coverage that the workers compensation carrier would be entitled to a full credit. Therefore, someone who is under insured should not receive more than someone who is adequately insured. This would not be fair to the person who is properly insured. Moreover, the applicant would get a double recovery.
Even though this case dealt with CIGA and issues related to ‘covered claims’ the same argument should be made when representing a solvent carrier. The court stated “the employer’s or insurer’s right to reimbursement from the third party tortfeasor takes first and full priority”.
Case: CALIFORNIA INSURANCE GUARANRTEE ASSOCIATION V. WCAB (MANGUM)
- Posted In: Work Injury