What is Subrogation in Insurance Terms?
What is Subrogation in Insurance Terms?

Companies that have paid money on your behalf might use a word most people may not know, subrogation.

Subrogation is the right to recover for any payments they made to you from the responsible person in a car accident.

That is because insurance companies, and whoever paid any monies on your behalf, do not want you to recover a settlement twice — once from your own auto accident insurance company and the other time from the responsible driver’s car accident insurance company — for the same car accident.

Your insurance company will generally attempt to recover any monies it has paid on your behalf from the responsible driver’s car accident insurance company and reimburse you for your deductible.

In many cases, car accident insurance companies have special expedited procedures to enable this recovery for property damage, usually this process is called inter-company arbitration (where a third party, usually one person chosen by both insurance companies, makes a decision who should pay, whether in full or a partial payment).

Most health insurance policies have a hidden right of subrogation clause in their contract with you. When you are injured in a car accident that was not your fault and you use your own health insurance to pay for your medical treatment, your health insurance company has the right to recover from the person who was responsible for the car accident.

It is important for you to know how much you need to give back of what was paid to you. This is usually determined by who paid for the medical treatment, and this can be quite complicated.

In addition to contracts, there may be legal duties to reimburse as well (e.g., Medicare under the Federal Health Care Recoveries Act; Medi-Cal, under California’s Welfare & Institutions Code, and the United States Military under Federal law).

Another way to look at subrogation is to understand that subrogation is just a battle, while the war concerns how much money you will actually receive in your pocket after your car accident is settled.


Since 1992, our personal injury attorneys at the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. have been fighting for the people. Now, when those injured in automobile accidents need financial help, or for the families that need to know that the loss of a loved one could have been prevented, there is a personal injury law firm in San Diego that is on their side.

If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. There’s never been a better time than right now to speak to a personal injury attorney—FREE of charge. Call us at 858-551-2090 or request a free consultation online today!

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