If I sue a third-party do I have to pay back the workers' compensation carrier?
Generally the answer is yes. Texas is a very pro-insurance and pro-insurance Company state and the legislature and the Texas Supreme Court have made if very difficult to not pay back the insurance company for benefits they paid, even if you are not fully "made whole" by the responsible third-party. For example if you are in a car wreck while working and your employers workers' compensation carrier paid your medical and partial lost wage payments (known as indemnity); the workers' compensation carrier gets their money back first before you get a dime. There are some situations where the workers' compensation lien (or subrogation amount) can be lowered. If the employer is found partially negligent then the lien may be reduced by that amount. If the workers' compensation carrier agreed to waive their subrogation rights then no amount will be required to be paid back (This happens rarely but if it does happen it usually occurs in a construction project where the owner or general contractor require the subcontractors to have workers' compensation policies that waive the right of subrogation - unfortunately this may simply shift the right of subrogation to the owner or general contractor based upon the contract between these parties). If the workers' compensation carrier is unrepresented then the attorney is allowed up to 1/3 attorneys' fees.