If someone is fully or partially to blame for injuring you in an accident, your insurance company may attempt to pursue subrogation so that it can try to recover the money that it paid for your care from the insurance company of the person at fault. While this usually doesn’t involve much (if any) effort from you, it is important that you at least understand your rights just in case there is an error that threatens to cost you money or your right to file a claim in the future.
The insurer wants to determine if you are planning on suing another party for your injuries. The insurer may also demand that you spend your own funds and hire an attorney to recover money for your own insurance company. The health or med-pay insurance company creates the right of subrogation in your insurance policy. It is important that you read the language in any health insurance or med-pay policy to see what rights you have. Many insurance companies now claim 100% of the funds they have paid and will refuse to reimburse you for the money you spent to get a recovery for attorney’s fees and costs.
Another Catch-22 situation also arises where the person at fault has minimum coverage and the bills for healthcare far exceed what can be recovered. In these circumstances, we increasingly see insurance companies trying to take all funds recovered in a settlement even though the injured person needs additional medical care and funds to cover lost wages and disabilities. It’s a great deal for insurance companies: injured people pay premiums, and the insurance company merely temporarily pays the health care bills and then gets all of its money back at the injured person's expense. Injured people are left without funds for future care or funds to live while insurance companies profit.
In Court, juries are not told that the Plaintiff will have to pay all of the medical bills back to their health insurance carrier. However, juries are told by insurance defense lawyers that Plaintiffs will be over-compensated if the jury awards more than the medical bills. If you find yourself battling an insurance company over subrogation, you will need an experienced attorney to help you through this process. Contact the Boulder injury attorneys at Klein Frank, P.C. and we will be happy to review your situation.