A few months back, you were in an accident. Your car was totaled, and you were treated for some minor injuries. The entire experience was distressing. You missed some work, had to get temporary transportation while you found a new car, and spent an extraordinary amount of time filing paperwork and on the phone with your insurance company. Worst of all, you had to pay your $1000 insurance deductible even though you did nothing wrong. At this point, you want to put the entire bad experience behind you and forget it. Something called a subrogation letter, however, shows up in your mail from your insurance company. Do you have to deal with it?
Deal with a Subrogation Letter Right Away
Your instinct may be to reject re-opening this chaotic period in your life, but it is in your best interest to address this letter as quickly as possible. Subrogation is the legal right and process that permits your insurance company to act in your stead and pursue a third party to recoup monies paid to you as part of your insurance claim. If your insurance company hasn’t yet paid your claim, they may expedite the processing if you quickly address this letter. The letter may seem like more paperwork but is usually an easy-to-answer request for additional details regarding your accident. Even if they have paid your claim already, you will want to give them the details they need to recoup funds from the third party because they will be able to refund all or part of your deductible once they recoup those funds.
The Law Doesn’t Require You to Respond
It’s important to know that you aren’t required by law to respond to this letter, no matter how strongly it is worded. A subrogation letter is not a legal summons and does not initiate a lawsuit. This is an important distinction if you are the at-fault party in an accident instead. If you are the at-fault party, a subrogation letter gives you the opportunity to settle matters up-front directly with the pursuing insurance company before you are sued. Whether or not you respond to the letter, in this case, depends upon many factors. If you wish to go to court because you feel you were wrongly assigned blame in the accident, then you may want to ignore the subrogation letter and allow the other party’s insurance company to sue you. If, however, you feel you were rightly declared at fault, you may want to respond and seek resolution out of court so you don’t incur additional legal fees.
No matter the circumstances, receiving a subrogation letter in the mail can be unsettling. Having clarity on what a subrogation letter is and is not as well as the ramifications for responding or not responding will allow you to make the best decision possible. If your matter is complicated and you are unclear as to which action to take, it is always best to seek reliable counsel before making any response.
Article Submitted By Community Writer