Subrogation, aka “subro,” is an option for your insurance company if you submit an injury claim. With subro, your insurer can request money from the party responsible for your injury. An Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer will make sure that you know all about subrogation before you file a claim.
If you have concerns or questions about subro or other legal topics, the team at BDIW Law will help you out. Our Oklahoma personal injury attorney will explain subrogation in insurance and how it applies to your case. For more information, reach out to us.
What You Need to Know About Subrogation in Insurance
At first glance, subrogation in insurance seems straightforward. If you suffer an injury caused by someone else, you notify your insurer, which pays your claim. From here, your insurer contacts the at-fault party’s insurance company, which will pay them what they already paid you.
If your insurance company’s subrogation claim is approved, you have nothing to worry about. Whatever money is given will cover the compensation that your insurer gave you. There can be times when the at-fault party’s insurer provides compensation that helps cover your deductible as well.
Of course, you cannot use subrogation in every injury case. For instance, if you are at fault for a car accident, you can file a claim with your auto insurer. At this point, the insurer will not be able to seek compensation from the other motorists involved.
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Example of Subrogation in Insurance
To understand subrogation, consider what will happen if you are involved in a rear-end collision that occurred due to no fault of your own. Following your crash, you notify your auto insurance company. Your insurer sends you a check that covers the costs of your vehicle repairs minus your deductible.
Next, your insurance company will work with the at-fault motorist’s insurer to secure compensation that covers the cost of your claim. It may take your insurer months or years to complete the subrogation process. If your insurer is successful, they may be able to use the money that they receive to cover some or all of your deductible.
In Oklahoma, the “made whole doctrine” applies relative to subro. This prevents your insurer from pursuing subrogation until you get compensatory damages. Thus, an insurer will move forward with subrogation only after the party responsible for your injury covers your economic and non-economic losses.
Types of Personal Injury Cases Where Subrogation Applies
Subro is common in auto accident cases. For example, you can sue for damages from a drunk driver and only get a portion of the damages that you originally requested. In this situation, your auto insurer can use subro to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Workers’ compensation, premises liability, and truck accident cases are among the other types of lawsuits where subro may be required. In these cases, the plaintiff requests compensation for losses caused by an employer, property owner, truck driver, or other at-fault parties. The plaintiff may receive some or no compensation, which prompts subro.
Ultimately, subro benefits insurance companies since it allows them to pursue compensation on behalf of their policyholder. At the same time, it benefits a policyholder, as it may help this individual get compensation for their deductible. A personal injury lawyer in Oklahoma can teach you about subrogation and help you determine if it is better to submit an insurance claim or file an injury lawsuit.
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How Subrogation Works in Oklahoma
Oklahoma recognizes subrogation, per Okla. Stat., Tit. 12A, §5-117. You can capitalize on subrogation if you suffer an injury due to someone else’s negligence. However, it is not always in your best interests to do so — to understand why, consider an example.
There is a two-year statute of limitations for submitting an injury claim in Oklahoma, according to Oklahoma Statute §12-95. Your lawyer will file your lawsuit within this time frame and help you get damages. If you are “made whole” and receive damages, your case is closed.
On the other hand, if you previously filed an insurance claim that was paid out, your insurer can pursue subrogation against you. If it does, your insurer will request compensation from you to cover the cost of your prior insurance claim. You will then be required to pay the cost of this claim out of the compensation that you were awarded.
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How to Approach Subrogation in Your Personal Injury Case
Calculate your losses to decide the best course of action with your personal injury case. If the claim you submit to an insurance provider gives you enough money to cover your losses, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit. In this scenario, your insurance company may try to come after what you get in damages once you are made whole.
Consider the evidence to support your injury lawsuit. If you have a wealth of evidence that shows someone was responsible for your injury, you will be well-equipped to secure a large settlement from the at-fault party. You can use your evidence to build an argument that shows the at-fault party was negligent, which will help you get compensation that makes you whole and accounts for subrogation.
Keep in mind that you can always submit a personal injury claim without having to involve your insurance company too. If you are considering this option, connect with an attorney. This enables you to get answers to frequently asked questions and many others about personal injury claims.
What to Expect if You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you submit an insurance claim, then file a personal injury lawsuit, and prepare for subrogation. Your lawyer will help you craft a compelling argument. They will make sure that you are in a great position to secure a fair amount of compensation.
In the best-case scenario, you get the settlement you want. When this happens, your insurer may go forward with subrogation. If you received a fair settlement, you may have to pay out what you previously received from your insurance company.
Subrogation and personal injury claims are complicated. BDIW Law takes the guesswork out of both, and we will help you in any way we can with your personal injury lawsuit. To request a free consultation, contact us today.
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