– from Deborah Z. in Dousman, WI
I’ve heard that if you get a big payout after a car accident, you have to give all the money to your insurance company. Is that true?
Personal Injury Lawyer Response:
I think what you’re referring to is subrogation — and no, the insurance company isn’t automatically entitled to your reward. Subrogation is a legal principle under which insurance companies can recover money they’ve already paid out after a claim.
For example, let’s say you were involved in a car accident and your insurance company gave you $3,000 to repair your vehicle. You later filed a lawsuit against the other driver and were awarded $10,000 in damages. Your actual recovery would only be $7,000 — the original $10,000 reward minus the $3,000 reimbursement to your insurance company.
Subrogation clauses are included in virtually all car insurance policies and can make you — the victim — feel like you’re the last one getting paid. This is why you need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who will advocate on your behalf and ensure that you are fully compensated after an injury or accident.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.