When another party acts negligently and causes an accident in which you sustain injuries, you may think that the other party’s insurance company should pay for your medical bills as they accrue. In practice, however, this rarely occurs. Rather, your health insurance company and auto insurance company, if applicable, will pay its portion of your medical treatment and expenses that are related to your injuries in the accident. However, if you receive a personal injury settlement or award after a trial, your health insurance and auto insurance companies typically have the right to recoup the medical costs that they paid out for you. This is the insurance company’s right of subrogation.
A right of subrogation is usually written into the terms and conditions of your insurance policy. While the language of this provision may vary from policy to policy, the meaning of the provision is the same. If you are injured and receive payment for your injuries from a third party, a subrogation clause will require you to repay your insurance company for any expenses related to your injuries that they covered.
There are two basic types of subrogation. Common law subrogation requires you to pay back your insurer after receiving a personal injury settlement or award only if the amount of money that you receive makes you “whole.” This means that the financial settlement or award puts you back in the same position as you were prior to the accident that caused your injuries. Arguably, then, if the money you receive does not make you whole, then your insurance company should have a reduced right to subrogation, or even no right to subrogation at all.
Insurance plans that fall under the Employee Retirement Security Income Act (ERISA), however, are different. While provisions may vary from one plan to the next, ERISA plans generally require that any funds that they expended on your behalf be paid back in full from the financial settlement or award that you receive. With an ERISA plan, you have much less room to negotiate a lesser payment to your insurer.
Subrogation can be a difficult legal concept for injury victims to understand and process. Having a skilled and experienced injury lawyer on your side to help you navigate the legal system is an essential piece of obtaining compensation for your losses. For more information about how to properly handle your personal injury claim, contact the Wisconsin personal injury lawyers of Boller & Vaughan today.
A March press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and Federal Railroad Administration stated that they are gathering input from the public on the impact of screening, evaluating, and […]
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports in its 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health that ten million individuals over the age of 12 reported driving after consuming drugs in the prior year. […]
"*" indicates required fields
We live in Friendship, Wisconsin, and Boller & Vaughan came to our doorstep to discuss our mother’s wrongful death claim on a Saturday morning. Not only were we pleased with the large recovery, we were so thankful to have lawyers who were willing to explain to us every twist and turn along the way. It is great to know there is a law firm that will fight for the rights of elderly people all over Wisconsin.
Mr. Boller and Ms. Vaughan were incredible in working on my case and my daughter’s case. I was out of work and in the hospital with a new baby. Mr. Boller and Ms. Vaughan protected our rights and it was a pleasure to work with them. I hope never to be in another motor vehicle accident, however, if I am and I am injured, I will contact Boller & Vaughan immediately.
I was referred to Michelle through a friend. I have never had a better experience. It took a little over a year to get my settlement but the staff there stayed in constant contact and kept me in the loop. Oh, and Michelle actually got me MORE money than we discussed. I will refer anyone to this firm. Words cannot do justice the thanks that I have for Michelle and her staff (Mary especially) thank you guys so much!
After my husband died as a result of a motor vehicle accident, Boller & Vaughan spent countless hours talking with me, meeting with me in person, and making sure that I was okay. The drunk driver who hit us did not have any insurance, and we had to make a claim through our own insurance. Boller & Vaughan was fantastic at explaining the law to me and the handling of our claims.
After my son was injured in a daycare setting, Ms. Vaughan took the time to thoroughly investigate our case and my son’s injuries. Michele was approachable and had answers to our questions. Talking with her helped to relieve many of our anxieties.