Insurance Subrogation AttorneysThe law firm of Harris & Engler is located in Columbus, Ohio, with attorneys helping clients with insurance subrogation issues in Franklin County, Delaware County, Union County, and across Central Ohio.
What is Subrogation?Subrogation is a legal doctrine that allows one party to "step into the shoes" of another party, and to pursue a legal cause of action on their behalf as if they were that party. Most people experience "subrogation" in one of two contexts: (1) after a car accident with an uninsured driver; and (2) after a personal injury settlement or award.
Right of Subrogation After an Auto Accident with an Uninsured DriverIn Ohio, drivers of automobiles have a legal obligation to have a policy of auto liability insurance. When an uninsured driver gets into an auto accident, and is at fault in the accident, then the other driver will usually file a claim with their own insurer under their uninsured/underinsured coverage (if they have it). After the insurance company pays their own driver, then they will usually go after the uninsured driver for reimbursement in a few different ways.
First, the insurance company will file a crash report form called BMV 3303 with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles in order to institute a security suspension on the uninsured drivers license. The uninsured person's driver's license will be suspended until they meet a number of requirements, including entering into a repayment agreement with the insurance company. An insurance subrogation attorney at Harris & Engler can help you if you've had a security suspension imposed on your license. A subrogation attorney can help to negotiate a repayment agreement that is much more favorable than what the insurance company is offering, and an attorney can otherwise check to see if your license can be reinstated due to any technical deficiences on the part of the insurance company suspending your license.
Second, the insurance company can file a lawsuit against you through their right of subrogation. However, if you've had a lawsuit filed against you as a result of a car accident, it could be for a number of reasons: (1) it could be the injured party suing you to recover for their injuries (and that injured party will be hoping you have insurance); (2) it could be the insurance company suing you to recover what they paid to their own insured (through the insurance company's right of subrogation).
The law firm of Harris & Engler helps individuals in any of these situations. Harris & Engler is located in Columbus, Ohio, and its insurance attorneys help individuals across central Ohio, including Franklin County, Delaware County, Union County, and Fairfield County.
Right of Subrogation in a Personal Injury SettlementThe other big area where an insurance company's right of subrogation will come up is a medical insurer's subrogation right to personal injury settlement or award proceeds. Basically, when a health insurer has provided, for example, $50,000.00 worth of medical coverage benefits, then they will try to get reimbursed through their right of subrogation out of any settlement that the injured party receives in a settlement. This obviously has the result of the injured party getting less money, which is problematic.
However, Ohio has what is called the "made-whole doctrine," which stands for the proposition that an insurer's "subrogated interests will not be given priority where doing so will result in less than a full recovery for the insured." Northern Buckeye v. Lawson, 154 Ohio App.3d 659, 798 N.E.2d 667 (12th Dist. 2003). Basically, what the made-whole doctrine does is it allows the injured party to reduce the health insurance company's subrogation lien pro rata down to the amount necessary to make it so that injured party has been "made whole" for their injuries.