Subrogation of insurance claims refers to the process by which an insurance company, after paying out a claim following a Texas car accident or other loss, assumes your legal rights to seek damages from a third party. This may mean the insurance company “stands in your shoes” to file a lawsuit against the person or company responsible for causing your loss or damages.
Texas has its unique set of regulations governing the subrogation of claims. In this blog post, the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Hartley Law Firm will help you understand some of the basic principles of Texas insurance subrogation law and how it can affect your personal injury claim. Speak to a Texas car accident lawyer to discuss a claim.
What Does it Mean to Subrogate Your Claim?
When an insured suffers a loss covered by their insurance policy and receives a claim settlement from their insurer, the insurer has a right to cover their loss. The insurer then acquires the right to pursue any available legal remedies against third parties responsible for the loss or damage.
Why Subrogate a Texas Insurance Claim?
There are two main reasons to subrogate a claim. The first is to be paid for your recovery faster than litigating the claim yourself. In theory, you should receive payment for your vehicle repairs, medical bills, and other expenses quickly if your claim is subrogated. Typically, you will file a claim with your insurer and, in most cases, receive benefits within 30 days.
However, you can also make the choice to litigate the claim yourself and not subrogate the claim to your insurer. A Texas personal injury lawyer, like those on our team at the Hartley Law Firm, can help you make an informed decision about whether to file a claim with your insurance or pursue damages on your own. Contact us today!
Your Role in a Subrogated Texas Insurance Claim
Claim subrogation is typically a passive activity for the insured. If the other party was clearly at fault for your accident, it may be easy for your insurance company to receive reimbursement from the defendant. If your claim is simple, it may take a few weeks to a couple of months from start to finish. However, more complex claims can take over a year.
What Is the Point of Claim Subrogation?
The idea of claim subrogation is to obtain reimbursement for your losses quickly and to prevent you from recovering your damages more than once. For instance, following a car accident, if you were allowed to recover from your auto insurer and also sue the other party, you could receive a lot more than the actual value of your loss.
Specific Features of Texas Insurance Subrogation Law
While the Texas Insurance Code does not explicitly address subrogation, the Insurance Code prevents insured parties from turning around and suing a party for whom they have received compensation for a covered claim. This has created what the courts have determined to be an implied right of subrogation. Texas Civil Code also authorizes the right of subrogation for medical benefits.
One of the essential aspects of Texas subrogation law is that it follows the “made-whole doctrine.” Under this doctrine, an insured must be fully compensated for their losses before the insurer can exercise its subrogation rights. This means that if you have $5,000 in damages and your insurance company pays you only $2,500, your insurer can seek only $2,500 in damages from any third party, and you can pursue the third party for the remaining $2,500.
How the Hartley Law Firm Can Help
If you have been injured in an accident and are facing the decision to subrogate your insurance claim, the Hartley Law Firm can help. Austin F. Hartley is a compassionate and skilled Dallas, TX personal injury attorney with deep experience helping clients make strategic decisions and negotiate with insurance companies.