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Reimbursing The Insurance Company

When a person is injured in an accident caused by another person, they may receive medical care that is covered by their health insurance, and receive compensation for any damages to their property through another form of insurance before seeking compensation from the person or company that is liable for the accident.  A person’s medical or auto insurance may sometimes be a faster way of receiving coverage and benefits, and can be used while preparing a case against the liable party.  However, once a settlement or judgment has been reached in the case, the injured person often has to pay back any benefits paid out by these other sources in order to avoid a situation where they essentially receive payment twice for the same injury.

Most insurance policies contain language to this effect in a “right to subrogation” clause.  This basically allows the insurance company to pursue a claim against a third party responsible for causing injury to its insured for which the insurance company has made a payout.  If an insurance company covers its insured’s medical bills following an injury caused by another person’s negligence, it may then follow up and pursue the other person in order to get its money back.  The insurance company can sue in its own name or on behalf of the injured person.

Closely tied to this idea is the collateral source rule.  This is a legal term referring to the requirement that in a settlement or judgment, a court can reduce the amount to be paid to the injured party by the amount received from other sources such as insurance for the same injuries.  Therefore, if a person sues another for personal injuries and receives $100,000 in damages, and had previously received $75,000 in insurance payments, the court is allowed to reduce the award by the $75,000 previously received.  In this case the person’s total court award would be $25,000.  There are different rules for reimbursing Medicare if a person’s medical costs were covered under that program.

An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to successfully negotiate with an insurance company or any other party owed reimbursement to reduce the amount the injured person has to reimburse.  Depending on the situation, an attorney can also help in cases where reimbursement does not have to made because the injured person was not fully compensated for their injuries, either through a settlement or a judgment.  In Georgia, for example, a person may not have to reimburse their insurance company for medical bills if the judgment or settlement received does not exceed all losses suffered by the injured party.  So if a person receives less in a judgment than was paid out, there may be no reimbursement due to the insurance company.

Contact Us For Legal Assistance

If you have been injured as a result of another person’s negligence and need to find a way to seek compensation for your injuries, contact the experienced Jacksonville, Florida and Brunswick, Georgia personal injury attorney at Gillette Law, P.A. We are eager to help you today.

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