Subrogation Can Make Big Difference In Final Payment
If you have been in a car wreck, hopefully you have good health and automobile insurance policies. They can get your vehicle damage, medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses paid quickly before the other driver’s insurance company pays you money. But people are often angry to learn that they may have to pay this money back when they settle with the other driver’s insurance company or the jury returns a verdict. The concept is called subrogation and it can throw a wrench into a car accident settlement or recovery of money.
Subrogation is a long-standing equitable doctrine that allows insurance companies to recover money they have paid to someone else. In personal injury cases, a subrogation lien is asserted in two situations:
- for medical bills paid by your health insurance company and
- property damage and other claims paid by your auto insurance company.
Consider a typical wreck when you are crashed into by a driver who runs a red light. You tell the ambulance, hospital, and doctor that you are covered by an Aetna plan and hopefully they file your bills with your health insurance carrier and are paid. But your health insurance company can file a subrogation lien or the hospital can file a lien if certain legal requirements are met and not tell you.
Further, your automobile insurance company may also pay your property damage and assert its right to repayment from the at-fault driver.