A personal injury lawyer from Rourke and Blumenthal explains why Ohio accident victims should understand insurance subrogation.
John Smith is in a car crash caused by an uninsured driver. John is severely injured, with a badly broken leg and other injuries. Fortunately, John has done many things right. He has a job that provides health insurance and short term disability. As a result, his $90,000 in medical bills are largely paid. He also receives 2/3 of his pay during the 12 weeks that he missed work. Ultimately, John’s leg heals although he is left with a permanent limp that will keep him from running or playing most sports with his children. John also has Uninsured Motorist coverage of $100,000 through has auto insurer that he has been paying for for 20 years.
John’s insurance company recognizes how badly he has been injured and pays him the full $100,000.
Happy ending? Not so fast.
John receives a letter from a company representing his health insurer which states that he is obligated to reimburse the insurance company for the full $90,000 that it paid. He receives a letter from another company that represents his disability insurer stating that he is obligated to reimburse the company for the $5,000 that it paid him. John ends up with $5,000 to compensate him for a permanent injury that he will live with for the rest of his life.
Is this outcome fair? No, but it is the reality here in Ohio.
Federal and State law have given many insurers an absolute right to recover money that they paid if a third party was responsible for the injuries and the injured person receives compensation from a third party for these injuries. In addition, programs like Medicare, Workers’ Compensation, Medicaid also have the right to be reimbursed in this situation. The term often used for this right of reimbursement is “subrogation”.
Why Partner with a Personal Injury Lawyer?
We now find that, frequently, the real fight and need for strategy involves dealing with insurers and governmental agencies after a settlement has been reached. At Rourke and Blumenthal, we know that we need to help our clients not only win a favorable settlement or jury award, but we also need to help our clients protect as much of their funds that they receive as possible from being paid over to insurance companies or governmental agencies. We can help people like John Smith receive a fairer share of their settlement funds. In fact, we start dealing with these issues long before a settlement or trial occurs.
If you have been injured in an accident because of another's negligence, contact us today to enjoy the highest quality legal representation. We will respond to you within 24 hours, and promise you an opportunity to speak directly to an attorney. Call 614-220-9200.