If you’ve been in a car accident, you may have heard the term “subrogation” thrown around. But what is subrogation, and how does it affect your claim? Subrogation is a legal process that allows an insurance company to recoup money that it has paid out on your behalf. If you were in a car accident and have any questions about insurance claims or other compensation, an experienced Charleston personal injury lawyer can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Subrogation is a legal right that allows an entity that has paid for damages to seek reimbursement from the responsible party. This right of recovery is typically found in insurance contracts. For example, if you are injured in a car accident, and your health insurance company pays for your medical treatment, your health insurance company might have a right of subrogation against the at-fault driver to recover the amount it paid on your behalf. The purpose of subrogation is to shift the financial responsibility for the loss from the insurer to the responsible third party.
To prevail on a subrogation claim, an insurance company must prove that:
- The insured sustained damages;
- The third party was liable for those damages; and
- The insurer paid for those damages.
Common Scenarios of Subrogation
Common scenarios where subrogation would be applicable following an accident or incident include but are not limited to car accidents, property damage, fires, etc. For example, if you are in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, your insurer may subrogate against the negligent driver to recover the amount paid out on your behalf. Another common scenario where subrogation might apply is if your home is damaged by a fire caused by your neighbor’s negligence. In this case, your insurer may subrogate against your neighbor to recover the amount paid out on your behalf.
How Subrogation Can Negatively Impact Your Car Accident Claim
If you’ve been in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you’re probably wondering how you can get compensated for your damages. In many cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will cover the costs of the repairs to your vehicle and any medical treatment you need as a result of the accident. However, the process of getting this compensation is not always straightforward. One potential obstacle is subrogation.
Subrogation can lengthen the time it takes to get paid for your injuries. If you’ve been in an accident and have suffered injuries as a result, you may be anxious to get paid so that you can begin paying your medical bills and other expenses. However, if the insurance company is pursuing subrogation, they may not pay your claim until the process is complete. This can often take months or even years, leaving you in financial limbo during that time.
Additionally, if you receive a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company and your own insurer has already been reimbursed through subrogation, you may have to pay back some or all of that settlement to your own insurance company.
If you have questions about whether your insurer will seek reimbursement through subrogation, you should contact your insurer directly. If you are being pursued by an insurer for reimbursement and believe that the insurer does not have a valid claim, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney in Charleston to help protect your rights. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.