Health insurance has been in the news a lot lately. The Affordable Care Act requires that most Americans carry health insurance or be subjected to a fine. But, did you know that health insurance plays a big role in the personal injury settlement process? Settling a personal injury claim will generally come as a welcome relief. The settlement process can often become grueling and stressful. But, it is important to realize that other parties may believe that they have a right to a piece of your settlement. Specifically, your health insurance company may try to claim a portion of your personal injury settlement. If you have found yourself in this situation, or if you have any questions about personal injury law in general, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
What is Subrogation?
You may or may not be familiar with the insurance term subrogation, but it becomes very important when dealing with health insurance and personal injury settlements. Subrogation is the legal right of an insurance company to recover a reimbursement from a third party, when that third party caused the insurance company to lose money. Essentially, the insurance company only had to pay out because of the actions of that third party. Therefore, under the law, the insurance company is allowed to recoup losses.
What Does this mean for you?
If a health insurance company was paying your medical bills after your accident, then that company will have the right, a right which they will almost certainly act on, to be reimbursed for those expenses. This means that whichever part of your personal injury settlement was directly meant to compensate you for medical expenses will go to your health insurance company, assuming the company paid those expenses for you. The portion of your personal injury settlement that goes above and beyond the cost of those medical expenses is completely off limits to your health insurance company.
A Lawyer can help
The subrogation process is an extremely complex area of American insurance law. The big insurance companies invest immense resources into hiring a staff that understands the subtleties of subrogation. When you are dealing with health insurance and personal injuries, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer fighting on your side throughout the entire settlement process. Your personal injury lawyer will be working through the process with insurance subrogation in mind. Your lawyer can immediately start negotiating with the insurance company and can often get them to drop their reimbursement requests. Every dollar of your settlement that the insurance company does not take goes right into your pocket. This is an extremely important, and often underappreciated, piece of the personal injury settlement process.
Contact An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
All accident victims should receive immediate medical care and full compensation for their accident injuries. Collecting that compensation is often a challenge, but when you finally reach a settlement you need to know that you actually reached the right settlement. The role that health insurance plays in personal injury settlement must be understood. All injury victims should seek the representation of a qualified personal injury lawyer, who can help them reach a settlement that will actually still be there after the health insurance company takes its cut. Contact an experienced lawyer as early in the personal injury claims process as possible.