There are a number of reasons why you may be filing a personal injury claim. You may have been injured in a car accident, bitten by a dog, or slipped and fell in a grocery store. However, regardless of why you are filing a claim, there are many legal terms thrown around by insurance companies and personal injury attorneys that you may not be familiar with. One of these terms is subrogation. If your attorney or the insurance company is using this word, you may have questions about it. Here are a few frequently asked questions about subrogation and the answers.
What is Subrogation?
If you have never heard this term before, the first thing you may be wondering is what subrogation is. Subrogation is the term that insurance companies use when recouping money from an at-fault party. This can be an insurance company for the at-fault party or from the at-fault party personally. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, you may pay your deductible to your insurance company and in return, they will pay your policy limits. However, behind the scenes, they will subrogate your claim and recoup money from the other responsible party on your behalf. Subrogation also comes into play if there is more than one responsible party for your accident. For example, if you slip and fall on an icy sidewalk in front of a store, you may be able to hold the city responsible and the store owner responsible for your injuries, depending on the circumstances. In this case, the insurance company for one party will take the lead on the case and then subrogate the claim to get money from the other responsible party.
How does Subrogation Affect your Claim?
Typically, subrogation does not have much of an affect on your personal injury claim. This is because most of what occurs happens behind the scenes and involves the insurance companies and responsible parties. In some cases, subrogation can slow down a personal injury case, as there can be some negotiation that happens between the extra parties, but for the most part, most people won't notice any difference. The only reason most people are aware of subrogation is because they hear or see the word should your case go to trial or when you case settles. If an insurance company feels they can recoup money from any responsible parties, they will typically have you sign a paper stating that if they pay your claim, you give them the right to subrogate the claim, or recoup money legally from any parties that they feel can be held legally responsible for your injuries.
Should You Expect Less Money if Your Claim is Subrogated?
If your claim is being subrogated, you may worry that you will receive less money than you would if this wasn't the case. However, there is no need to worry about this. A great personal injury lawyer will help you recoup the maximum amount of money for your injuries, medical expenses and pain and suffering as allowed by law. This amount does not change just because there are more than one responsible parties paying for any settlement or recovery. All this means is that more than one party or insurance company is paying for your settlement or award, but does not change or diminish the amount you receive.
Subrogation is a term that you may hear or see when you are involved in a personal injury claim, especially if there is more than one party responsible for your injuries. However, while it sounds like a large and complicated term, it typically doesn't have much affect on your case. Learning about what this term means will help you to better understand it and not have questions when you hear it.
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