Legislature Does Right for Injury Victims
November 16, 2010
under Personal Injury
One bill passed by the legislature restricts an insurance company from trying to get repaid for money it has paid for an injured person’s losses. It’s a process known as subrogation. Let’s say you are in an accident and your health insurance pays for your medical care. We settle your case with the other driver’s insurance company and they pay you. Under subrogation, the health insurance company can then go back to the other driver’s insurer and ask to be refunded any payment it made to you as a result of the injury.
The problem is that any such repayment comes out of your settlement amount. If the health insurer paid a lot in medical bills, you could possibly end up a lot less money. This new legislation puts a stop to that, and says your losses have to be paid for in full before the insurer gets anything. This keeps the money where it belongs – with you.
Another bill approved by lawmakers is more procedural, but will benefit you as well. Let’s say again that you’re in an accident, but this time the insurance company refuses to pay you what you deserve and we have to file a lawsuit. The law requires that any time we sue someone we have to hand-deliver a copy of the lawsuit to the party being sued. The problem comes when the other party is nowhere to be found. Until now, getting past that has been time consuming and convoluted and delays settling a case, some times by months.
This new legislation says that now the other party’s insurance company must accept the lawsuit. Plus, if the other party still can’t be found he is considered uninsured, which allows us to seek recovery under his uninsured motorist coverage.
These two pieces of legislation are on their way to Gov. Bill Ritter for his signature into law. Assuming he doesn’t veto them, injured parties will soon have a couple more rights working for them. I applaud our lawmakers for their actions.
Colorado personal injury lawyers