How To Choose The Best Subrogation Lawyer in South Florida

Subrogation is a legal procedure that lets an insurance company make a claim against a third party, to recover benefits that the insurer paid to its insured. The purpose of a subrogation claim is to force the person or company that was at fault for an accident to reimburse the insurance companies that paid insurance benefits as a result of that accident.

Why Do Injured Persons Need To Know About Subrogation Law? 

In every health insurance policy there is a subrogation clause. This is true whether you have a private insurance carrier, Medicare, or Medi-Cal.  Although there is a lot of fine print that is easy to look over in Insurance contracts, the subrogation clause is a part of your health insurance. When you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, and you will likely obtain medical treatment for injuries sustained, such as in an automobile accident. In Florida there is currently a requirement that all drivers carry personal injury protection insurance coverage or PIP, also known as no-fault. In theory your no-fault insurance is supposed to pay for your medical care following an automobile accident. This protection however is normally limited to $10,000.00 and will  only cover 80% of your medical bills. There is also a chance that your own insurance company may cut off your PIP benefits and stop paying your medical bills after you are examined by one of their doctors in what they call an independent medical exam or IME. No fault benefits are not subject to subrogation, and as such payments made to medical providers through PIP do not have to be reimbursed.

Why Do I Need A Subrogation Lawyer?

In life, there is no such thing as control. Life may go your way most of the time, but odds are that you will have to deal with being the victim of negligence at some point in your life. When it happens, you’ll need to consult a lawyer who deals with personal injury. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of others.  So the question is: “How do you find the best personal injury lawyer for you?”. That’s where we can come in and help guide you in finding the best Subrogation Lawyer for you in South Florida. We hope you choose to work with us at Stephen Barker Law, but it is always best to explore your options. Here are some guidelines for how to pick the lawyer that is right for you:

Time is of the Essence:
There is no time to waste after an accident. There are time limitations known as the statute of limitations, and they vary of different types of cases. If you are seriously injured after the accident then you’ll  need to rely on close friends or family members, or family physician to recommend a lawyer they know and trust. It will protect your rights if you retain a lawyer very soon after the accident, so that your lawyer may begin his or her own investigation, preserve evidence, and advise you on your rights.

Google is Your Friend:
Any lawyer that is worth your time has a website and to provide you more  information about the lawyer and their practice.  Ideally you can learn about the education and experience of a lawyer from their website.  One of the cons of using a lawyer’s website as an informational resource about their own services is that it was likely written by the lawyers themselves and any opinions may be biased in favor of selecting their firm. A good way to verify other people’s experiences is to check a ratings website like martindale hubbel, lawyers.com, Avvo, Superlawyers, or the Better Business Bureau so you can get a realistic view as the client of what to expect from your attorney.

What Type of Injury Do You Have:
Just like there are many different types of injuries, there are lawyers with different expertises of injury. It is wise to select a lawyer who devotes their practice to the type of injury you have sustained so that you can be assured that they have experience in similar cases. There are many types of accidents such as car accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, drunk driving accidents, medical malpractice, etc.

Bills, Bills, Bills:
When hiring a lawyer for an accident or injury case, most lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, only taking their fee as a percentage of any recovery they obtain. Some attorneys will even go as far as to provide a No Recovery, No Fee Promise to all clients which ensures that you’ll receive the most dedicated service they can provide. Some lawyers will even reduce their fee if at the end of the case the attorneys fee is greater than that which the client would receive. You should ask your lawyer if they will ever reduce their fees.

Lawyer’s Experience Pays Off:
Education meana nothing if the lawyer does not have the proper experience to make the magic happen. When it comes to legal matters and there is no doubt that you should go for the knowledgeable lawyer who has experience handling similar cases in the South Florida Area. Stephen Barker is definitely a lawyer with years of experience and expertise to guide you through your subrogation case in South Florida.

Be Frank with your Lawyer:

You have to be completely honest with your lawyer so that they can use that information to file your claim. They will talk to you about what can be done, and they will speak to you about what that information means. You might have to pick out the information for them if they are hoping for you to help them, and you have to be organized so that they can get the case right the first time no matter how complex or simple the case is.

You can talk to Stephen Barker today who will step in and make sure that you have the representation that you deserve. You will have the case handled by someone who knows what they are doing, and there are many people who did not know that they could sue because they thought they were stuck when they got in a dispute with the insurance company. There are a number of people who will go through this process with their lawyer so that they can have their claims paid and honored by the insurance company in question.

With these guidelines, we wish you the best in your search for the best Subrogation Lawyer for you. If you think Stephen Barker is a great fit for you, we are have the dedication and devotion to reach your goals and protect you in the murky waters of subrogation law! Contact us for more information today and let’s get you the compensation you deserve!

Liability Contracts and Policies With Contract Workers

Subrogation law, with Insurance, is constantly being used. It is part of nearly every insurance contract. The courts are loaded with lawsuits involving the negligence of a third party and subrogation claims. This is why, as an injured party, you must seek out a subrogation lawyer. Insurance subrogation is a much more difficult and complicated process. Again in the simplest terms, if you are involved in an accident and there are medical bills or damage to your property. Your insurance company will see to it that the bills are paid. After making the payments or sometime before, your insurance company will try to determine more details about the injuries or damages that occurred.

For example, imagine a painting contractor fell off his ladder while they were on the job. However, when the painter fell, he toppled on top of another contractor’s employee on the job site. This other contractor’s employee  suffers injuries from the collision, and the injured worker sues the Painting contractor as well as project owner. The project’s contract included a requirement that the contractor assume the owner’s liability for any accidents that may result from the contractor’s work. As a result of this, the contractor’s general liability insurance company pays the injured worker for both the owner and contractor’s portions of the damages incurred. After evaluation from the Insurance company, they were able to determine that the owner was actually twenty percent responsible for the accident. The insurance in turn files a claim with the owner to request a return on a portion of the initial payment made.

Although this may seem unfair, this is a completely legal and normal instance of subrogation with Insurance companies. To avoid this scenario, many project owners and general contractors require that their subcontractors agree to a waiver of subrogation. Subrogation ultimately holds the person who should pay for the damage responsible, and will protect the company from being liable for unexpected expenses.

To save money and ultimately not be held responsible when the unexpected occurs, owners and general contractors often transfer their liability to subcontractors. This is why most contracts include a waiver of subrogation agreement. These contracts in turn have the subcontractor promise not to pursue legal action and request payment from the other party in case of an accident. That agreement often links with the subcontractor’s insurance company, depending on the type of policy and its terms.

Types of Liability Contracts and Policies

1.  Commercial General Liability Policy:

Traditionally, a commercial general liability policy prevents the policyholder from being able to adjust the insurance company’s rights after the accident occured. This only applies when a waiver of subrogation was signed and agreed to before a loss holds the company responsible for recovery. The subrogation policy often times protects the other party if in the agreement it lists the person as an additional insured. Under common law, an insurance company may not subrogate against its own insured. To remove any doubt, one should should ask the company involved to add an amendment applying a waiver of subrogation to the person or organization named in the initial contract. Insurance companies vary on the amount of premium they charge for this. Insurance companies sometimes make no charges at all.

2. Standard Business Auto Insurance Policy:

The standard business auto insurance policy has many similarities to the general liability policy. One major difference is that unlike General Liability insurance, there is no standard waiver of subrogation endorsement for auto insurance. Some insurance companies may offer their own versions of such an endorsement. Again, premium charges will vary.

3. Worker’s Compensation Policies:

Workers’ compensation policies require an endorsement whenever a waiver of subrogation is desired. This endorsement may apply on a blanket basis to all parties with whom the insured has written contracts requiring waivers. It also can apply only to the party listed on its schedule. The insurance company may charge up to two percent of the policy premium for blanket coverage or two to five percent of the project’s premium for individual coverage.

4. Commercial Property and Inland Marine Insurance Policies:

These types of policies vary as to whether they permit waivers of subrogation even before a loss. This type of coverage is imperative if you plan to transport high-value products or materials, which are often excluded from basic property coverage.

When working with a contractor, it is wise to have a contractor or building tenant who is required by contract to check the relevant insurance policies and waiver before agreeing to working together. This is when it is wise to have a lawyer such as Stephen Barker to work with you to complete the best waiver for you and your contractor that protects you for incidental charges and recoveries. Accidents happen, and it is best to protect yourself from the unexpected and to ensure that the proper coverage is in place. Call Stephen Barker Law today to create the best waiver for you and your contractor!

Subrogation Clauses and Policies

Subrogation is a legal procedure that lets an insurance company make a claim against a third party, to recover benefits that the insurer paid to its insured. The purpose of a subrogation claim is to force the person or company that was at fault for an accident to reimburse the insurance companies that paid insurance benefits as a result of that accident.

To elaborate further, let’s see subrogation at work. Suppose that Jenny’s home burns down. Jenny’s property insurer in turn pays $2 million for damages and the cost to replace the house. The insurer then discovers that the fire was caused by the negligent use of a bonfire pit by Jenny’s neighbor, Robert.

The insurer sues Robert to recover the $2 million it paid to Jenny for the fire damage.

However, if Jenny did not have property insurance, she would have the right to sue Robert for the cost to replace her home because he was responsible for the fire. Since Jenny’s insurer compensated her for the damage to her home, Jenny’s right to sue Robert is transferred to the insurer. The insurer then stands in for Jenny, and obtains whatever rights Jenny has to sue Robert.

Insurers are able to gain their right of subrogation from a law or contract, because of a subrogation clause. Most insurance policies contain a subrogation clause that applies when the insurer has paid a loss. The clause gives the insurer the right to recover the amount it has paid to the insured from the party that caused the loss. An insurer might have this right even if it was not stated in the policy. Many states have enacted subrogation laws that allow insurers to pursue recovery once they have fully compensated their insured for a loss.

Subrogation Clauses Found in ISO Policies

Most business insurance policies contain a clause that explains the insurer’s subrogation rights. This clause is usually found in the policy conditions. In ISO policies, the subrogation clause is usually located under the heading Transfer of Rights of Recovery Against Others to Us. Subrogation clauses can be written in many forms, but they all have the same general purpose:

They allow the insurer to recover a loss payment from the party that caused the loss. In this case, this clause allows Jenny’s Insurer to sue Robert for his negligence that lead to burning her house down.

1. Commercial Property Policies

To explain commercial property policies, let’s go to another example:

Rebecca owns a small commercial building that she uses to operate her bakery. Rebecca has insured the building under a commercial property policy. One day, Rebecca is checking inventory in her bakery and hears an explosion. A moment later, one wall of her building collapses and then bursts into flames. The fire department soon arrives to extinguish the fire.

Rebecca’s building has sustained significant damage. The fire was the result of a boiler explosion in the building next door. The boiler exploded because Gerald, the building owner, failed to maintain it properly.  Rebecca’s property insurer pays for the fire damage to her building and then subrogates against Gerald for the negligence of maintaining his boiler room.

The insurers will  file a suit against Gerald seeking recovery for the amount it paid to Rebecca. Since the insurer has reimbursed Jennifer for the loss, they are now able to substitute for Jennifer and sue Gerald for the loss. The insurer has the right to sue Gerald only for the amount it paid to Rebecca.

2. Commercial Liability Policies

Most business liability policies contain the same subrogation clause that appears the standard ISO general liability policy. The clause states that if the insured has rights to recover all or part of any payment the insurer has made under the policy, those rights are transferred to the insurer. This would happen in the event of an injury on the premises of a commercial building. This is familiar with a wet floor injury at a McDonald’s. A patron breaks their leg due to a crack in the floor at a McDonald’s location. The injured patron would sue McDonald’s, whose liability insurer would pay the claim. The insurer would then sue the contractor that installed the floor for the amount it paid to the injured patron.

The insurer contends that the contractor installed the floor improperly and that its negligence caused the customer’s injury. Because the insurer has reimbursed the injured customer for the cost of the claim, it assumes the customer’s rights to sue the negligent contractor.

3. Commercial Auto Policies

The standard business auto policy contains a subrogation clause similar to the one found in the ISO property policy. The clause essentially states if the insurer pays an auto liability or physical damage claim, and someone other than the insured is liable for the injury or damage, the insurer may sue that party to recover the amount of its claim payment.

4. Workers Compensation Policies

The standard NCCI workers compensation policy contains two subrogation clauses: one under Part One, Workers Compensation, and another under Part Two, Employers Liability. Both are entitled Recovery From Others

The subrogation clause that appears in Part One gives the insurer your rights, as well as the rights of your injured employee, to recover payments it has made from anyone liable for a worker’s injury. For example, suppose that your firm has purchased a workers compensation policy. One of your employees is injured in an auto accident caused by the negligence of another driver. Your insurer provides workers compensation benefits to the worker. It then sues the negligent driver for the cost of the benefits it paid to your employee.

Fortunately, Florida requires most employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. These compensation benefits are typically made in the form of wage replacement. How much a worker is entitled to receive depends on how much their ability to work is impacted by the injury. In Florida, you do not need to prove that your employer was at fault for your injury—only that the injury occurred while you were working.

Most accidental injuries or occupational diseases that can occur within the scope of employment is covered by workers’ compensation. However, mental or nervous injuries are not eligible for worker’s compensation unless they stem from a physical injury onsite.

The subrogation clause that appears in the Employers Liability section gives the insurer the right to seek recovery from anyone liable for an injury for which the insurer has paid damages under the policy. That is, if the insurer has paid damages as a result of an injury to an employee, it may sue the party that caused the injury to recover its payment.

Finding the right lawyer in matters of insurance subrogation and the impact on you cannot be overstated. The law offices of Stephen Barker can provide the guidance and support needed to help with your claim. This subrogation law office has more than 15 years of property damage experience. Each case handled individually and with expertise. Other areas of practice for the Stephen Barker Law Offices are business litigation and condo/homeowners property disputes. Graduating from law studies at George Washington University in Washington D.C. Stephen has been involved in law for over 30 years. His experiences led him to his own litigation firm in Florida. His practice has expanded into all areas of property management law.

Simplifying Subrogation

Subrogation Law
Making a Simple Case for Subrogation Law
Knowing the issues and complications from third-party lawsuits and subrogation law are vitally important.

For most of us, the doctrine of subrogation will never come up unless we are involved in the process. This specialized field of law has been around since the Court of Chancery. Subrogation law first developed in the courts of England, the court established in 1792.

Subrogation in its simplest of definitions: substituting one creditor for another. If you purchased a car from one bank and another bank buys that loan this is a simple example of subrogation. Another example would be the buying of mortgages from one bank to another. Without knowing it, you may have been involved with several simple subrogation actions.

Subrogation law, with Insurance, is constantly being used. It is part of nearly every insurance contract. The courts are loaded with lawsuits involving the negligence of a third party and subrogation claims. This is why, as an injured party, you must seek out a subrogation lawyer. Insurance subrogation is a much more difficult and complicated process. Again in the simplest terms, if you are involved in an accident and there are medical bills or damage to your property. Your insurance company will see to it that the bills are paid. After making the payments or sometime before, your insurance company will try to determine more details about the injuries or damages that occurred.

The reasoning behind this investigation, the insurance company wants to know if there may be liabilities with a third party. If there are no other parties involved, the bill is settled. The watch is on for your next premium payment.

If the insurance company determines liability, other than the insured, the search continues for liability attributed to the third party. Insurance subrogation is trying to determine if a payment liability exists from a third party.

That was a lot to take in. Once again, in simple terms, your insurance wants to know if someone else can foot the bill.

Here are some aspects of subrogation that must be in place to be valid:

1.You must have a valid contract between you and your insurance company.
2.Your insurance company must pay, or indemnify, all of your bills as stipulated by your contract before it can claim subrogation. Simply put, your insurance company has to pay you before going after the other person.
3.You must have a legal right against the third person who caused or was complicit in the accident before your insurance company can claim the right of subrogation.

If all of the above are in place, then your insurance will consider a claim of subrogation on your behalf. Here is a point to consider, never sign any contract that includes the right to waive subrogation. A sub-contractors contract will usually have a waiver of subrogation clause. If you do sign this type of contract, your insurance company has the right and most likely will, deny you coverage and not pay the bills. The reason being, you have interfered with their right to reclaim damages against the third party. The bottom line, read and understand what you sign. Consult a subrogation law office and an experienced subrogation lawyer if you have any questions.

Here are some actions you can take on your own to help in the process of paying your for the damages and if need be recovery. When your insurance claims a right of subrogation, this action is on your behalf and can only benefit you. Any actions to help with the process are perceived in a beneficial way.

1.Find out as much as you can about anyone involved in the accident. Specifically, the ones who caused the damages against you.
2.If you have no personal injuries, start taking photographs and take a lot of them. Get out the phone and start clicking everything about the damage itself.
3.Call Police and emergency personnel to the scene. Get the accident number.
4.Get as many details and contact numbers of all the other people who saw or were involved in the accident.
5.Prepare a written statement, try to remember all the small details.

Finding the right lawyer in matters of insurance subrogation and the impact on you cannot be overstated. The law offices of Stephen Barker can provide the guidance and support needed to help with your claim. This subrogation law office has more than 15 years of property damage experience. Each case handled individually and with expertise. Other areas of practice for the Stephen Barker Law Offices are business litigation and condo/homeowners property disputes. Graduating from law studies at George Washington University in Washington D.C. Stephen has been involved in law for over 30 years. His experiences led him to his own litigation firm in Florida. His practice has expanded into all areas of property management law.