Subrogation is an insurance term you may come across when pursuing a personal injury claim. A subrogation claim refers to the process of an insurance company seeking reimbursement for benefits they have paid upfront on behalf of a policyholder for losses caused by another party.
How Does Subrogation Apply to Personal Injury Claims?
Personal injury victims may choose to file an accident claim with their own insurance company or utilize their personal health insurance because they have more rights and better service. However, if the victim’s damages (e.g., medical bills, lost income, property repairs/replacement) are ultimately someone else’s responsibility, the insurance company has the right to recover those costs they initially paid from the wrongful party.
For example, another driver runs a red light and totals your car, causing you severe injury. You have auto insurance, so you can have your insurance carrier cover expenses according to the terms of your policy, such as for replacing your vehicle and medical care. In turn, your insurance company will pursue a subrogation claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Your insurer can “step in your shoes” to recover the amount of money they have paid out on your behalf. In some instances, a successful subrogation claim may also reimburse the victim for any deductibles paid to their insurer.
Subrogation laws exist to prevent victims from recovering double the compensation for the same injury or property damage and also helps reduce insurance rates.
Can Subrogation Impact Compensation from a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you pursue a personal injury lawsuit, subrogation can impact the amount of compensation you receive. Your insurance carriers will have the right to claim a portion of your award, even if they haven’t subrogated your claim. Without a subrogation claim, you will have to reimburse your insurance providers (e.g., auto insurer, healthcare insurer) for their costs due to the subrogation clause in your insurance contracts. If a subrogation claim has been pursued, your personal injury award will typically not include the compensation meant to reimburse your insurance carriers as they will have dealt with the at-fault party directly.
Negotiating the Subrogation Process
Every insurance policy has a subrogation clause, so you must anticipate handing over a portion of your settlement to your insurance carriers. However, subrogation claims are often negotiable. A skilled West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer can often prompt an insurance company to settle for less than the amount they are requesting. Additionally, insurers are required by law to notify you they are seeking subrogation and claimed expenses must only be related to the accident. Your attorney can make sure you don’t pay for unrelated damages and help you reduce your financial obligation.
An Attorney Who Can Help With Your Subrogation Claim
Dealing with insurance companies after an accident of any kind can be draining. Adding in the confusing subrogation process can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Our Florida Personal Injury Attorney can give you peace of mind and help you maximize the compensation you recover. Contact us today at (561) 623-3681 to set up a free consultation.