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The Rogak Report: 21 Feb 2006 ** No Fault - Workers Compensation **

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  • Lawrence Rogak
    SELF-EMPLOYED DRIVER TURNED DOWN BY WORKERS COMP BOARD IS ENTITLED TO NO FAULT BENEFITS Global Liberty Insurance Company v. Tarek Abdelhaq (unreported)
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 21, 2006
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      SELF-EMPLOYED DRIVER TURNED DOWN BY WORKERS COMP BOARD IS ENTITLED TO
      NO FAULT BENEFITS

      Global Liberty Insurance Company v. Tarek Abdelhaq (unreported)
      (Supreme Court, Nassau County, Index no. 17651/2005)(BRANDVEEN, j)

      Abdelhaq was an owner/operator of a car service vehicle, insured by
      Global. After his taxi was hit by another car, Abdelhaq applied to
      Global for no-fault benefits. Global denied the claim on the grounds
      that workers compensation insurance should be primary, and took the
      position that a formal denial from the workers compensation board was
      necessary before a no-fault claim would be honored.

      Abdelhaq filed a claim with the workers compensation board, and the
      Board responded in writing that because Abdelhaq was self-employed he
      was not required to carry workers compensation insurance, he was not
      eligible for comp benefits and that no hearing would be held on the
      issue.

      Abdelhaq provided Global with a copy of the Board's letter, but
      Global still refused to pay no-fault benefits. Abdelhaq filed a
      demand for no-fault arbitration and Global brought this Petition to
      stay arbitration.

      The Court held that the condition precedent to no-fault coverage was
      satisfied by the insured's application to the WCB for benefits and
      the WCB's denial. Thus, the Petition was denied. In addition, the
      Court ordered the driver to provide Global with "all necessary
      discovery" provided for by the insurance policy, including medical
      authorizations, submission to IMEs, and depositions.

      Comment: This is an interesting anomaly in the law, where a driver
      who is working at the time of an auto accident is entitled to no-
      fault benefits instead of workers comp. It would appear, then, that
      a self-employed driver with no employees is not required to carry
      workers compensation insurance and may turn to his livery policy for
      no-fault benefits in the event of an accident.

      Larry Rogak
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