When you are hurt in a car crash, one of the first things on your mind will be how to get better quickly. Utah requires that your own auto insurance provider cover you for a minimum of the first $3,000 of medical bills regardless of fault. That can help a lot, but $3,000 does not stretch very far when you are paying for ambulance rides, emergency room visits, and X-rays. Once that $3,000 has run out, you will likely turn to your health insurance for help.
A good health insurance plan will come in extremely handy at that point. They will begin to pick up the tab for you so that you can continue treatment until you are fully recovered. Not having insurance could be a big problem because obtaining a settlement from the at-fault party’s insurance provider usually takes several months. If your case actually goes to litigation, it could be years before you see any money at all.
Subrogation Rights of Your Health Insurance Provider:
Following a resolution to your car accident, your health insurance company will have a subrogation claim against the funds you receive. Basically, what that means is that your health insurance company will seek to be reimbursed for everything that they spent on your behalf. The reason for this is that most health insurance policies have a provision written into the contract that states that they are not responsible for the cost of injuries directly related to a car accident. There is always a chance that you could keep that extra money and legally avoid giving a large chunk of your settlement back to your health insurance provider.
There are several factors that an experienced personal injury attorney would consider to decide whether that was possible. Perhaps your specific policy does not contain such language? Perhaps the clause is contractually invalid for some reason? Perhaps subrogating your claim would violate a federally guaranteed ERISA right? Those are questions that your attorney will be able to answer. Even if you are required to subrogate your settlement, at least your attorney can attempt to negotiate a lower amount. Having an experienced negotiator on your side could put thousands of dollars back into your pocket.
You don’t know what you don’t know. Attempting to handle a claim for bodily injury can be an extremely complicated process. An experienced auto accident attorney can take away the stress and maximize the value of your claim.
This article is offered only for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice or legal opinion. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this article without first seeking the advice of an attorney.