If you file a personal injury claim, insurance companies and/or various government agencies may call dibs on part of your settlement or award, a process called subrogation.
What Does it Mean When Someone Asserts a Subrogation Claim?
When you are injured by a negligent party, it takes time to sort out issues concerning liability and damages. In the meantime, medical bills mount and you may be without income for the foreseeable future—potentially leading to surly creditors breathing down your neck and a battered credit score.
Your own insurance companies or other agencies fill in the gap until you receive a settlement. At that point, they want to be paid back, since the at-fault party (or their insurance company) is responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, and other injury-related bills.
Subrogation laws vary from state to state. For instance, some states prohibit health insurance companies from placing subrogation clauses in their policies, or place restrictions on them. Other don’t.
Some large companies self-insure the healthcare claims of their employees. This is typically governed by federal law (ERISA), which supersedes state law, meaning health insurance companies can pursue subrogation claims even if state law forbids it.
Other entities may claim a portion of your settlement, depending on the circumstances. They include your auto insurance company, your state’s workers’ compensation fund, a Medicare or Medicaid plan carrier, or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact a personal injury attorney. They will fight for your rights, take care of all the legwork, negotiate with those making claims on your settlement to lower the amount you pay them, and prevent any subrogation “surprises.”
An Experienced Attorney Can Help After a Crash
Sometimes, even the safest drivers can find themselves involved in an accident due to the behavior of an aggressive driver. In those situations, the aggressive driver can be held responsible and made to pay for your medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
In Alaska, accident victims can rely on attorney Ben Crittenden to help. As a personal injury lawyer, Ben has worked hard to make sure his clients’ voices are heard and they are able to obtain the maximum amount of compensation. Every accident victim deserves the chance to recover as fully as possible, and Ben is here to help you meet that goal. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an accident because of an aggressive driver, take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page, or request a free copy of Ben’s book, A Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska, to learn more about your rights.