Subrogation is a legal concept which derives from the Latin word Subrogare. Subrogare means to “cause, choose or elect someone to be chosen in place of another; put in another’s place; substitute.” In practice, this concept acts much like the root latin word. Subrogation is a personal injury concept that provides that an insurer be entitled to repayment of proceeds from a settlement or judgment. The basic premise is that where one person (i.e. typically an insurer or a guarantor) makes a payment on an obligation which, in law, is the primary responsibility of another party, then the person making the payment is subrogated to the claims of the person to whom they made the payment with respect to any claims or remedies which are exercisable against the primarily responsible party. For example, if a car owner has collision insurance on their car and the car is damaged by a negligent third party, if the car owner elects to claim under his insurance policy, then any claims which the car owner had against the negligent party will pass to the insurance company. Medical bills and medical insurers are another area where this concept frequently comes up.
Subrogation does not necessarily mean that the repayment amount is non-negotiable. As with most things in life, subrogation liens are negotiable. A competent and experienced personal injury Attorney can ensure that you negotiate the best release of your lien, thus putting more money in your pocket at the end of the day. Subrogation is also rather complex, and if not done correctly, can expose victims of personal injury to further lawsuits in the future.
Dennis E. Sawan is an Ohio Personal Injury and Consumer Protection Attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio. If you would like to speak further about your specific legal matter, call The Law Office of Dennis E. Sawan today at 567-343-5662 to schedule a free consultation.