There are many circumstances under which an insurer or other party may have paid for a loss that was the result of negligence or other culpable conduct on the part of some other party. When that happens, the law frequently provides a mechanism for the insurer or other party who made the payment to recover indemnity or reimbursement from the party who was at fault.
Most often, this is done by intervening in a suit brought by the injured party against the party-at-fault, and claiming a fair share, if not complete reimbursement, out of any money recovered by the injured party from the party-at-fault by judgment or settlement.
Parties who may wish to pursue subrogation claims include :
- An employer or insurer who has paid workers’ compensation benefits to an employee because of an injury caused by someone else who was not also an employee
- An automobile insurer who has paid “no fault” benefits to a policyholder because of a collision someone else caused
- An insurer who has paid for property damage or other loss or expense incurred by a policyholder due to the fault of another. This includes group and individual health insurers.
Caregivers who have not yet been paid for their services arising from a patient’s injuries have a claim against proceeds the patient may recover from the person who caused the injury, and such claim may be pursued in the same manner as re these other subrogation claims.
The law applicable to these various kinds of subrogation claims can be complicated and even surprising to someone who lacks experience dealing with the law of a particular state.
Further, while the suit against the party who caused the loss usually is brought in the state where the accident or loss occurred, the party who sustained the loss or injury might be a resident of a different state. In such cases, the law of that other state may be determinative of the rights of the client seeking subrogation.
While Fogle Keller Walker practices primarily in Kentucky and West Virginia, the subrogation matters that we handle very frequently require us to determine the law of other states and how that other law may apply to our case in Kentucky or West Virginia.