Subrogation in Montana

Subrogation is a fairly general concept, with a rather specific application in Montana injury law. For our purposes, it occurs when an insurance company seeks repayment for money already disbursed to an injured insured from a source that otherwise would have gone to that same insured. It occurs when an insurance company tries to recover expenses it paid on a claim when someone else should have been responsible for paying (at least some) of that claim.

For example, imagine you were in a car accident with an unknown driver. The driver left the scene before you could gather any information and so you’re left holding the bag. You make a claim with your insurance company to cover your injuries and damages, and your insurance pays some of your claim. Later, your insurance company tracks down the man who hit you and, on your behalf, recovers some of the amount he owes you. If your insurance company is paid the amount they initially paid to you, that’s subrogation.

In Montana, subrogation is a controversial issue because of the made-whole rule. Until an injury victim has recovered damages sufficient to cover all his damages, his insurance company cannot seek subrogation. Like all things to do with the law, this is a complicated subject and the outcome depends heavily on your specific situation. If you have questions about subrogation and how it works in Montana, please call me today at (406) 752-6373 to discuss your case and learn more about your options.

Facebook Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Case

Social media is an amazing thing. I now know more about some casual acquaintances than I used to know about close friends and family. Some people simply love to share. But the urge to talk can be deadly to your injury case.

Most facebook users I know are sharing information with more people than they realize. Have you checked your privacy settings lately? Would you bet that you know exactly who can see your updates? Would you bet your future on it? Stop and think, if you are involved in an injury claim – do you want the insurance adjuster having access to everything you write on facebook. Because there’s a chance that they already do.

A number of scammers, lying about the extent of their injuries have been caught through facebook. And I have no problem with this. I want nothing to do with clients who don’t tell the truth and are just looking for a quick buck. But many clients, honest hardworking people, would be shocked to realize the scrutiny they’re under.

Facebook is meant to be a way for friends and family to communicate more easily. But when insurance agencies use it to limit the recovery that injured victims can receive, it perverts the purpose and hurts my clients.

Insurance Adjusters Aren’t On Your Side

Believe it or not, insurance companies are a business – and that means they are more interested in making a profit than in assisting their customers. You pay a monthly premium so that you’ll be protected if you ever make a claim. But the insurance company makes money by paying less out to you than you have paid into the system (at least on average). So while your interest is in getting compensation for your loss, the adjuster for your insurance company is looking for ways to limit what you get.

That’s why it’s so important that you meet with a Montana injury attorney if you’ve been interested. When a client hires me in an injury case I only get paid if they receive compensation for their injuries. And the amount I get is directly tied to amount they get. This means that our interests are aligned while the insurance company is interested in pretty much the exact opposite.

You’ll be amazed at the various, and contradictory reasons that insurance adjusters will use to deny a claim and avoid settlement.

  • You rushed to the doctor, you must be faking.
  • You waited too long to see the doctor, you not really be hurt.
  • You’re so young, your injuries will go away on their own.
  • You’re so old, your pain is from age, not the accident.

It may seem like a bad dream, but insurance adjusters will use all those excuses to avoid settling your insurance claim. And your insurance company, or the company of the person who hurt you, does this all day every day. This incident may be your one and only major interaction with an insurance company. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone on your side with the experience and knowledge to make a difference?

Call me today at (406) 752-6373 to schedule a free appointment to discuss your specific situation and learn more about dealing with insurance companies.