Health Insurance Subrogation Rights After an Accident

…for an Injured Party Who’s Received Treatment

If you or someone you love was recently hurt in a San Francisco Bay area accident, one of your main concerns is getting fairly compensated for your medical bills, surgical costs, drug therapies and ongoing rehab.

Depending on what happened, a health insurance company might be “on the hook” to pick up the bill. But insurance companies have an interesting tactic they can use, known as subrogation. This is a legal mechanism by which a liable party can force another person or party to “stand in place” of the original party.

Example of Subrogation

Here’s an example to make that less abstract. Say a negligent driver yapping on his cell phone side-swiped your car on a toll road, and the accident gave you spinal damage and lacerations. The health insurance company responsible for paying your bills may assert a subrogation claim against that negligent driver. This would transform the insurance company into what’s known as a “collateral source” and generally make your legal situation more complicated.

In general, when it comes to personal injury claims, the more parties that become involved, the more complicated the situation can become, and the more opportunities there are for victims to lose their rights, get confused, and wind up holding the bag.

Subrogation laws in California are quite complicated. For instance, they are set up to prevent injured victims from getting “paid twice” for damages. To return to our theoretical example… say the spinal damage and lacerations ultimately cost you $25,000 in medical care. You will only be entitled to get that $25,000 once. In other words, you won’t to able to get $25,000 from both the insurer and the person who hit you. Because there are so many different “moving parts” to this kind of case, the terms and conditions of the payment can get tricky and complicated.

Rather than get bogged down in details of subrogation law, connect immediately with the team here at the Law Offices of Daniel Vega for a comprehensive, free, and confidential case evaluation. Our team can help you understand what you need to do to maximize recovery and minimize confusion.