One of the most difficult things for a person going through any legal issue is understanding the legal jargon that gets tossed around. If a personal injury is involved, the words “subrogation” and “collateral sources” cause extra confusion. These words are not ones you are likely to hear outside of insurance or law offices.
The legal definition of subrogation refers to “the replacement of one group or individual by another in regards to a debt or insurance claim.” A “collateral source” is typically a third party entity who makes payment to a party who has suffered a personal injury. Typically, in personal injury matters, your health insurance carrier would be considered a collateral source. Additionally, if you have elected to pay for medical payment coverage on your automobile policy, your own automobile insurance carrier could also be considered a collateral source.
So what you may be wondering is what these terms actually mean and how can they affect your personal injury claim. Let’s discuss it.
What Is Subrogation?
Subrogation is typically enacted by a collateral source, more than likely your health insurance company. Health insurance is there to help cover your medical expenses if you are ever injured or ill. However, if a third party causes this injury or illness, the law allows your health insurance carrier to assert its right of reimbursement against that third party for the expenses it has paid in connection with your medical treatment.
Navigating Your Personal Injury Claim
To understand how this can affect a personal injury claim, let’s go over an auto accident fact pattern. You were in a car accident and the person who caused your injuries, known as the defendant, only has $10,000.00 in bodily injury coverage. Meanwhile, your auto insurance carrier has made some payments from your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage which is primary in paying for accident-related injuries. However, your health insurance carrier has also made payments towards your medical expenses. Before you can settle for any amount with the defendant’s automobile insurance, you need to know what amount you will actually need to pay back to your health insurance carrier since they may have subrogation rights.
This highlights the importance of working with an experienced personal injury attorney. An experienced lawyer will request a certified copy of your health insurance carrier’s policy to determine what are their actual rights of subrogation if they have any at all. Furthermore, they will eliminate unrelated claims, meaning payments made not in relation to the accident, for which your health insurance carrier has no right of subrogation for. Lastly, they will ask for reductions in attorneys fees and procurement costs. Ultimately, all these moves are in an effort to negotiate a settlement that more accurately reflects your damages and ensures you keep more of that settlement amount.
Working with Your St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney
Here at Marsalisi Law, nothing is left to chance after your accident. Frank Marsalisi is an experienced motorcycle and car accident injury lawyer that you can trust to protect your rights, including subrogation rights, and ensure you receive the maximum settlement.
While others might push for the easiest settlement, Frank will work on your individual case and do what is best for your personal results. Contact Marsalisi Law today for the best level of personal dedication and care. He has a strong dedication to his community. While in law school, Frank would return home to serve his community as a law clerk, assisting in the representation of clients with cases related to personal injury, discrimination, and real estate disputes.
Call Frank today at 727-800-5052. Remember, Marsalisi Law is Where Law Gets Personal.