Subrogation- Is Your Personal Injury Attorney Informed?
What You Need to Know About Your Health Insurance Company’s Rights in YOUR Personal Injury Case
You’ve been in an accident. You’re hurt. You made all of the right decisions by taking care of your health first. You hired an extremely competent personal injury attorney who is making sure your legal rights are protected while you heal and then…….you receive a letter from your health insurance provider telling you that according to the provisions of your health care plan, they are subrogated on all payments made to health care providers on your behalf that were caused by the person who hit you. This is a frightening demand letter…so what does this mean?
In a personal injury case, subrogation means that your own health insurance company is demanding to be reimbursed for all of the medical expenses they had to pay to providers for the injuries caused by a third party. This can have a significant impact on the compensation that you receive as demonstrated by the following:
Alice (A) was badly injured when Ben (B) ran a red light, colliding with her vehicle. A followed all of the recommended “best practices” by taking the ambulance to the emergency room, following up immediately with her primary care physician in a timely manner and following all of the medical advice given to her by the specialists she is seeing. While in the recovery process, A receives a subrogation demand letter from her health insurance provider. Here is an example of how subrogation could impact her recovery.
$100,000 Bodily injury policy limits carried by B
$79,000 in medical bills paid by health insurance
= $21,000 remaining to compensate Alice for all of her lost wages from missed work as well as her pain and suffering. There is no guarantee that B’s insurance is going to pay full policy limits.
Check back for part II coming soon!