After an accident that’s not your fault, you have the right to seek compensation from the responsible party. But it takes time to resolve personal injury lawsuits in California. In the meantime, your insurance company is likely footing the bill for a portion of your medical expenses. If you win your case, your insurer can ask for reimbursement through a process called subrogation.
Understanding subrogation is important because it may affect the ultimate amount of money you take home from a personal injury verdict or settlement. The Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Custodio & Dubey LLP can explain how subrogation may affect your injury claim if you’ve been hurt. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
What to Expect From Subrogation in California
Subrogation is the right of an insurance company to be repaid the money they spent on an injured policyholder while their personal injury claim was pending. The compensation comes from the insurer of whoever is held responsible for the accident.
Subrogation matters because it could impact how much compensation you receive from your personal injury award. Technically, any money paid to your insurer from a subrogation claim comes from the liable party’s insurance company. But whatever your insurance company receives in subrogation is money you won’t get. With that said, there are limitations on how much insurance companies can recover in a subrogation claim.
First, insurance companies can only make a subrogation claim if you receive money from a third party in a personal injury claim. If you are paid directly by the liable party and not their insurer, your insurance company has no right to a subrogation claim.
In addition, California’s “Made Whole” Doctrine for personal injury cases places certain limits on subrogation claims. According to the law, accident victims must be “made whole” through a settlement before their insurance company can claim compensation through subrogation. Generally, that means your insurance company can only claim one-third of your settlement amount through subrogation if you retained an attorney or one-half of your settlement if you did not hire a lawyer.
How Long Does Your Insurance Company Have to Subrogate?
California law says insurers generally have three years from the date of an accident to file a subrogation claim. Keep in mind that some insurance companies have language in their policies that may override the “Made Whole” Doctrine and other relevant statutes. A personal injury lawyer can look over your policy and let you know what subrogation rights your insurer may have.
Do I Need Legal Help Dealing With My Insurance Company?
Negotiating with insurance companies can be a complicated and frustrating experience. There’s also a lot at stake, both in terms of money and the potential impact on your future. At Custodio & Dubey LLP, we always recommend speaking to a personal injury attorney before talking to an insurance company.
Get Help From an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Now
The California personal injury lawyers at Custodio & Dubey LLP have more than 40 years of experience handling complex insurance matters. With our help, clients have recovered more than $25 million in compensation for their injuries. Get your free initial consultation today by calling our Los Angeles office or visiting our contact page.