Subrogation Claim in Personal Injury Cases: What Does It Mean?
If you have ever been involved in a personal injury case and the term “subrogation” has been mentioned by an insurance company or another party, you might be wondering what that is and how it can affect your settlement.
Our Alpharetta personal injury lawyers at Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers can explain everything you need to know about subrogation, including its potential impact on your personal injury settlement.
What Is Subrogation?
Subrogation is a term that refers to the process by which a third party can step into the shoes of someone else when it comes to legal rights and obligations. In other words, it allows someone to substitute one party for another in a legal claim or action. In the context of personal injury cases, subrogation typically arises when an insurance company pays for medical bills, lost wages, or other expenses related to someone’s injuries and then seeks to recover those expenses from the party who caused the injuries.
Example of Subrogation in Personal Injury Cases
To understand subrogation in personal injury cases, let’s review an example. Imagine that you are involved in a car accident caused by another driver. You sustain serious injuries and are rushed to the hospital, where you receive treatment that costs tens of thousands of dollars. If you have health insurance, your insurance company will likely pay for some or all of those medical expenses. However, if you later file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident and win a settlement or judgment, your insurance company may have the right to recover the amount it paid for your medical bills through subrogation.
Who Has Subrogation Rights?
In most cases, the right of subrogation belongs to the insurance company that paid for the expenses related to the injury. This could include health insurance companies, auto insurance companies, workers’ compensation carriers, and more.
However, it is important to note that not all insurance policies include subrogation rights, and the rules regarding subrogation can vary depending on the state and the specific circumstances of the case. In Georgia, subrogation rights and claims are governed by Georgia Code § 33-24-56.1.
How Subrogation Affects Your Personal Injury Settlement
Subrogation can have a significant impact on the amount of money you receive in a personal injury settlement or judgment. If you have subrogation rights, any money you receive from the party who caused your injuries may be used to reimburse the insurance company for the expenses it paid on your behalf.
This means that you may end up with less money than you expected or than you would have received if there had been no subrogation claim involved. On the other hand, if you do not have subrogation rights, you may be able to keep more of the money you receive in a settlement or judgment.
Consult with a Lawyer
Subrogation is an important legal concept that can have a big impact on personal injury cases. If you are involved in a personal injury case and have questions about subrogation, it is important to work with an experienced lawyer who can help you understand your rights and options. Our lawyers at Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers can help you maximize the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries in Alpharetta and other parts of Georgia, including Atlanta, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Cobb County, Johns Creek, Gwinnett County, and Fulton County. Call 770-685-6400 for a free case review.