Yes, you can negotiate a subrogation claim in some circumstances, though it may not be necessary if your insurance company is handling the claim. Subrogation claims are claims filed by insurance companies against an at-fault party to recover any costs paid out for their not-at-fault policyholder’s claim.
How to Negotiate a Subrogation Claim
If you are the policyholder
It may be difficult to negotiate a subrogation claim if you are the not-at-fault policyholder since your insurer has already paid for your claim. It is unlikely you will receive more money once the subrogation claim is settled, besides the deductibles you paid for. However, you may be able to sue the at-fault party for expenses beyond what your insurance covers with the help of a lawyer.
As the policyholder in a subrogation claim negotiation:
- You’ll receive a subrogation letter from your insurer asking for details of the accident.
- If you have a lawyer, have them discuss the claim with your insurance company.
- You may be able to negotiate a higher payout with your lawyer.
- You also may be able to sue the at-fault party yourself, with a lawyer.
If you are the at-fault party
As the at-fault party in a subrogation claim, it is likely better to allow your insurance company to manage the claim. If you are not being sued directly by the injured party, you don’t have much to worry about. Your insurance company will handle the subrogation and negotiate with the injured party’s insurer to determine a fair payout.
As the at-fault party in a subrogation claim negotiation:
- Your insurer may ask for you to reiterate details of the accident.
- If you are being sued by the injured party, you will likely want a lawyer to help.
- Your lawyer should discuss the claim with your insurance company.
- You may be able to work with your insurer and a lawyer to negotiate the settlement in your direct lawsuit.
If you are uninsured
If you are uninsured and at fault, you are liable to be sued by the injured party’s insurance company via a subrogation claim. In this scenario, you have much more power to negotiate the details of a settlement because it is your money they are directly suing for.
In a subrogation claim negotiation when you’re uninsured:
- Most sources recommend finding a lawyer who specializes in subrogation to negotiate the terms of a settlement.
- Be sure to communicate your expectations and financial abilities with your lawyer.
- You may be able to pay significantly less than what the injured party is asking for.
Ultimately, the best choice when you are involved in a subrogation claim is to speak to a qualified subrogation specialist to discuss the details of your case. Subrogation is a very tricky legal situation with countless possible outcomes, and only a qualified lawyer can say if your specific situation is eligible for negotiations.
To learn more, check out WalletHub’s guide to subrogation.
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