When someone is injured in an accident that requires prompt medical care, they typically use their health insurance coverage to pay accident-related medical bills. While this may have been necessary at the time, the costs of those medical expenses paid by your insurance may come out of your injury settlement or verdict after you receive it. The right of the medical insurance company to collect payment for these bills is called subrogation. The personal injury lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad handle cases involving subrogation and can help you understand how it may affect your settlement.
Subrogation In Car Accident Claims
After a motor vehicle accident, your health insurance company may be able to pursue the cost of your medical expenses if you receive a settlement from your own auto insurance policy and/or a negligent party’s insurer. This can happen after a settlement agreement or verdict has been reached and you are paid. A health insurance company can try to collect by putting a lien against your car accident settlement. Once a settlement is finalized and disbursed, there are no other options for recovering additional compensation from the insurer who awarded the settlement to you.
Subrogation Claims In Pennsylvania
It’s important to note that under Pennsylvania law, private health insurance companies can subrogate only for HMO plans and self-insured health insurance plans. This is a significant fact – health insurance companies claiming the right to subrogate must prove that coverage was part of an HMO or self-insured ERISA plan. It’s vital to be aware of these nuances in the law, as insurers sometimes engage in underhanded tactics like falsely claiming the right of subrogation, regardless of whether they really are entitled to recover. That’s why it’s vital to have a personal injury attorney who understands subrogation law and different types of insurance policies if you’ve been hurt due to someone else’s negligence.
Workers’ Compensation And Taxpayer-Funded Health Plans
Workers’ compensation insurance and policies funded by taxpayer dollars such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Tricare can also subrogate in some cases. For example, if you were rear-ended and injured in a car accident carrying out your duties as a delivery driver, workers’ compensation would most likely pay your medical bills. However, if you recover a settlement from the negligent driver’s insurance company, workers’ comp can then try and recover funds from your third-party settlement.
Subrogation In Other Types Of Personal Injury Claims
Health insurance companies can also subrogate in cases involving slip and fall accidents and other types of personal injury. In any type of subrogation case, an attorney will scrutinize an injured victim’s health insurance policy to find out if it provides for subrogation. Getting the details of exactly which medical expenses a health insurer is seeking is also essential – it’s important to double-check that they are only requesting reimbursement for treatment for accident-related injuries.
Negotiating Subrogation Reductions
If subrogation is permitted, your lawyer will communicate with the health insurance company and negotiate how much must be paid back to maximize the amount you can keep. A good accident attorney may be able to help you hold on to thousands of dollars that you may otherwise be required to pay to your health insurance company. A personal injury lawyer who has experience handling cases involving subrogation will anticipate that it could be a possibility down the line and do what they can to mitigate any potential losses ahead of time.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney To Schedule A Consultation
The team at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad fights for injured victims’ rights throughout the Lehigh Valley and the Pocono Mountains region. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident, we can help. To learn more about subrogation and to schedule a free consultation contact us online or call us in Bethlehem at 610-867-2900. We have additional locations in Allentown, Stroudsburg, and Topton, PA.