If you have received a personal injury settlement or jury award after a car accident, and you had used your insurance coverage to pay for your medical expenses and other damages, in most situations, you will have to pay back your insurer.
But there are situations in which you have no obligation to pay back your insurance company after receiving a settlement or jury award. And our Los Angeles car accident attorney from Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg is going to help you out on this one.
Before we answer this question, you need to know that whether or not you have an obligation to pay your insurer back depends on a variety of factors. More often than not, you will have to consult with an experienced car accident attorney in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California to find out whether or not your insurance company will turn a blind eye to the fact that you did not pay it back.
Do you have to pay your insurer back?
As a rule of thumb, the question of whether or not you will have to pay back your insurer after receiving a settlement in a car accident case boils down to who paid for your medical bills. Let’s review the two most common scenarios:
- You suffered bodily injury in a car accident, and your insurance company agreed to cover your medical expenses. After you recover damages from the at-fault party who caused your injury, you will most likely have to pay your insurer back.
- If you, on the other hand, paid for your medical bills from your own pocket, you will most likely be able to reimburse that amount.
In other words, if your insurance company paid for your medical expenses and treatment, you have an obligation to reimburse your insurer when the at-fault car driver pays you in a personal injury settlement or jury award.
How to avoid or delay paying your insurance company back?
For many people, paying their insurance company back after a car accident is not always possible, which is why there are legal options to avoid or delay paying your insurer back. Our car accident attorney Los Angeles has outlined the most popular legal options to play your cards rights when your insurers comes knocking on your door and demands paying back:
- Liens. If paying your insurer back is not a viable option right now, you can agree on a lien. By agreeing on a lien with your insurance company, you give it a right to keep possession of your property until a debt is discharged;
- Reimbursement rights. In most situations where an insurance company pays for its policyholder’s medical expenses after a car accident, the insurer agrees that it will be reimbursed only after the injured party successfully recovers funds from the at-fault party. If you are represented by an experienced car accident attorney in Los Angeles by your side, you may be able to reduce the reimbursement amount by subtracting legal fees and other applicable expenses.
- Subrogation. Subrogation is a common tactic adopted by lawyers to help their clients get rid of the obligation to reimburse the amount paid by their insurance company. What it means is that you are giving your insurer the right to pursue reimbursement directly from the party responsible for causing your injury in the car accident, drawing your insurer’s attention away from you.
Let our Los Angeles car accident attorney from Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg help you determine your best course of action in your particular case. Call our offices at 310-997-0904 for a free case evaluation.