The Insurance Company’s Right To Reimbursement After An Accident
Having automobile insurance is not only a legal requirement; it is a necessity to any person who owns a car and drives it regularly. In the event of an accident, your insurance company often pays out your claim and you pay a deductible that may be a small percentage of the cost of the repairs on your car. Insurance policies usually contain a subrogation clause that allows your insurance company to seek reimbursement from the other driver for the cost of the repairs, as well the cost of your deductible.
What is the Right to Subrogation?
The right to subrogation gives an insurance company that pays out an insurance claim to a person insured under its policy the right to seek reimbursement for that pay out. This may mean that a person who suffers a minor accident, has his car repaired under his own insurance policy and pays a deductible may allow his insurance company to seek reimbursement from the other driver for the cost of the repairs and the deductible. This may be easier for the injured person who then only has to wait for his own insurance company to send a check for the recovered cost of the deductible.
Subrogation may get more complicated when multiple insurance policies are at play, or if the injured party files a lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused the accident to recover money for costs that were not covered under their insurance policy. In these cases, the injured party generally has to reimburse his insurance company for any costs that were covered and paid out under the policy. This is not so in cases involving personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policies.
Under Florida law, all drivers are required to carry PIP insurance. Drivers who carry PIP insurance are immune from subrogation claims when they are involved in an accident and injure another person. However, drivers who do not have PIP insurance and negligently cause an accident are not immune, and can be sued by an insurance company that had to pay on a PIP policy to a person injured in the accident.
Subrogation and Settlements
If an injured person sues and is offered a settlement by the negligent driver who caused the accident or his insurance agency, it may come with a clause that states that the injured party waives subrogation rights. Before agreeing to any settlements, it is advisable to consult with an attorney. The waiver of subrogation may mean you are breach of contract with your insurance company if at the time you got the policy you agreed not to do anything that may limit or diminish the insurance company’s rights to seek reimbursement through subrogation.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Automobile Accident Attorney
If you are involved in a car accident and sustain serious injuries as a result of a negligent driver, you need an experienced automobile accident attorney handling your case to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale automobile accident attorneys from Boone & Davis for a consultation today.