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What Is a Subrogation Claim?

Posted on June 1, 2020 in Personal Injury

The average personal injury claim can involve many complex legal processes. One is subrogation. Subrogation is a right an insurance provider has to seek reimbursement for what it paid a claimant from the party that caused the accident or injuries. You may need to know about claim subrogation if you were recently injured in an accident in California.

Subrogation Prevents Double Recovery

At the heart of the subrogation process is the belief that an injured party should not be able to recover the actual costs of his or her losses twice. The claimant should receive fair reimbursement for damages, but not profit off of the accident. If a health insurance carrier paid for the victim’s medical expenses, the victim should not then be able to receive compensation for the same medical bills. Subrogation prevents this from happening. With a subrogation claim, some financial recovery from the defendant will go to the health insurance carrier rather than the plaintiff.

How Does A Subrogation Claim Work?

An insurance carrier can try to collect money from the party that caused your accident by filing a subrogation claim against the at-fault party. A subrogation claim could seek reimbursement for benefits given to you by the insurance company as well as the money you paid, such as deductibles. Subrogation typically does not require a lot of involvement on your end. Your insurance carrier (and your Los Angeles personal injury attorney, if applicable) can take care of the process while you focus on healing.

The right of subrogation states that if your insurance company pays for medical bills or disability benefits sustained from an accident you did not cause, it has the right to collect reimbursement from the party that did cause the accident. A subrogation claim is a legal process in which the insurance company seeks compensation for the damages it paid you.

First, your insurance carrier will pay you benefits according to the terms of your policy. You may or may not have to pay a deductible. Then, if the insurer wishes to file a subrogation claim, it must notify you of this intent. If you do not receive a notice of your insurer filing a subrogation claim, you will have the right to seek compensation for your deductible and other expenses from the defendant on your own.

Will Subrogation Affect Your Personal Injury Case?

Subrogation could impact your personal injury case by deciding the allocation of your settlement or judgment award. If you win your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you may have to give a portion of the recovery to your insurance carrier depending on whether or not it subrogated your claim. Without subrogation, you must share your settlement with the insurance provider or health plan that paid for your damages. With subrogation, the insurance provider will seek reimbursement directly from the defendant rather than your settlement award. Your award, therefore, would not include an amount for your medical bills or other damages your insurer already covered.

How Can A Lawyer Help With A Subrogation Claim?

Work with a personal injury lawyer in Southern California for assistance with subrogation. An attorney can deal with subrogation claims on your behalf to maximize the compensation you get to keep. An attorney may be able to persuade an insurance company to reduce a subrogation claim to achieve a settlement, for example. If you have a lawyer working with your insurance carrier from the beginning, he or she may be able to obtain a settlement that benefits you – even if you owe the carrier money through subrogation.

A lawyer can help you understand all matters relating to subrogation and your specific claim. If the defendant issues a waiver of subrogation, for instance, your lawyer can help you understand what this means for your settlement. A lawyer can also answer any questions you may still have about a subrogation claim and how the process works. A lawyer can ensure the protection of your rights from start to finish.