What’s Subrogation All About Anyway?

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Personal Injury Lawyer Jeff Nuckols

Personal Injury Lawyer Jeff Nuckols

What’s Subrogation All About Anyway?

By Jeffrey R. Nuckols, Esq.

If you are fortunate enough to have never been involved in a serious car crash or otherwise had to work with your insurance company to be compensated for losses, you might have never heard of subrogation. Or maybe you’ve heard of subrogation and wondered what it really means. If you already understand the subrogation concept, add your thoughts by commenting on this post. Otherwise, read on to learn a little about subrogation in the personal injury auto insurance context.

First, one might take a look at the dictionary definition of subrogation. Sometimes I like to look at the origins, or etymology, of the word, and a dictionary often includes that. Looking up subrogate on dictionary.com, one finds that subrogate, like so many words in the English language, has Latin beginnings: sub, meaning in place of, and rogare meaning to ask. Maybe subrogate means to ask in place of someone else. The definition on dictionary.com includes a definition for the civil law context which is “to substitute (one person) for another with reference to a claim or right.” Now we’re getting somewhere in our understanding of subrogation relative to personal injury auto insurance.

I once read that subrogation is the process of one person “stepping into the shoes of another.” Wikipedia has a subrogation page containing this quote “[T]he subrogated party is entitled to stand in the shoes of another and enforce that other party’s rights.” That’s what happens with personal injury auto insurance subrogation. With personal injury auto insurance, your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) insurance might compensate you for losses from injuries you suffered in an auto crash when, for example, a driver of another car was at least partially at fault for the crash. There, your UM insurer might assert subrogation against the driver of that other car. That means that your UM insurer wants to take your place, or step into your shoes, as the claimant against that other driver. The UM insurer will pursue your claim against that other driver in order to recover what it paid to you for that other driver’s fault in causing your injuries.

If you have a question about insurance, or about an injury that may have been the fault of someone else, call the attorneys at DKN Legal at 321-329-5449.

Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice nor as forming an attorney-client relationship or any other form of legal representation. Consult with an attorney at DKN Legal or another attorney of your choice for legal advice.

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