OhioBWC - Basics:  Subrogation


Accidents can happen anywhere! Subrogation is a basic principle of insurance that reduces a person’s ability to “double dip” benefits at the expense of another person. Subrogation also lets BWC recover some claims costs from a liable third party, but not at the expense of the injured worker. Under the bill’s provisions, BWC can recover claims costs only for items in which the injured worker would have received a double recovery of benefits.

Subrogation Example: A driver in a company car is stopped at a traffic light and is hit from behind by another driver. The driver is injured, misses two weeks of work and receives medical benefits and lost wages from BWC. Later, the driver sues the person who caused the accident and receives money for, among other things, medical expenses and lost wages. Subrogation would allow BWC to recover money paid on the claim, which now has been paid twice. The injured worker gets to keep any money received in the suit above and beyond what BWC paid.

BWC has the right of recovery from a third person, party, or insurance company for the cost of benefits paid on behalf of the injured worker according to ORC 4123.93 et.seq. The third party can be an individual, corporation, insurance company, or public or private entity, i.e. political subdivision, a public or private program that is or may be liable to make payments to a person. In some instances, employers and coworkers can be considered a third party when the injury was the result of an intentional act (tort) of the employer or coworker.

Subrogation is a benefit to all.

  • The injured worker’s expenses are taken care of.
  • Any money that is collected in a subrogation claim will be credited back to the claim which will benefit the employer.

Always notify your claims service specialist (CSS) if you are going to pursue a claim against a third party. Contact your CSS or BWC’s subrogation unit at (614) 644-7410 before you settle a bodily injury claim that involves or may involve a separate workers’ compensation claim, as you may be jeopardizing the workers’ compensation subrogation claim.