Any insurance policy you have is a commitment that, if something bad happens to you, the company that insures the policy will make restitutions in a timely fashion. If you get hurt while working, for instance, your employer's workers compensation agrees to pay for medical services. Employment lawyers handle the details; you just get fixed up.
But since figuring out who is financially accountable for services or repairs is regularly a confusing affair – and delay often adds to the damage to the victim – insurance firms often opt to pay up front and assign blame after the fact. They then need a method to recoup the costs if, in the end, they weren't responsible for the expense.
You are in a traffic-light accident. Another car ran into yours. The police show up to assess the situation, you exchange insurance information, and you go on your way. You have comprehensive insurance that pays for the repairs right away. Later police tell the insurance companies that the other driver was entirely to blame and his insurance policy should have paid for the repair of your auto. How does your company get its funds back?
How Subrogation Works
This is where subrogation comes in. It is the process that an insurance company uses to claim payment when it pays out a claim that turned out not to be its responsibility. Some companies have in-house property damage lawyers and personal injury attorneys, or a department dedicated to subrogation; others contract with a law firm. Usually, only you can sue for damages done to your person or property. But under subrogation law, your insurer is considered to have some of your rights for making good on the damages. It can go after the money originally due to you, because it has covered the amount already.
Why Do I Need to Know This?
For starters, if your insurance policy stipulated a deductible, your insurer wasn't the only one who had to pay. In a $10,000 accident with a $1,000 deductible, you lost some money too – to the tune of $1,000. If your insurance company is lax about bringing subrogation cases to court, it might choose to recoup its losses by increasing your premiums and call it a day. On the other hand, if it knows which cases it is owed and goes after them enthusiastically, it is acting both in its own interests and in yours. If all $10,000 is recovered, you will get your full thousand-dollar deductible back. If it recovers half (for instance, in a case where you are found one-half culpable), you'll typically get half your deductible back, based on the laws in most states.
Additionally, if the total cost of an accident is over your maximum coverage amount, you may have had to pay the difference. If your insurance company or its property damage lawyers, such as criminal defense lawyer near me Hillsboro OR, successfully press a subrogation case, it will recover your expenses in addition to its own.
All insurers are not the same. When shopping around, it's worth contrasting the reputations of competing agencies to find out whether they pursue winnable subrogation claims; if they do so in a reasonable amount of time; if they keep their accountholders informed as the case proceeds; and if they then process successfully won reimbursements immediately so that you can get your losses back and move on with your life. If, on the other hand, an insurer has a reputation of honoring claims that aren't its responsibility and then safeguarding its profit margin by raising your premiums, you'll feel the sting later.criminal defense lawyer near me Hillsboro OR