Legal Matters: A Quick Look at Subrogation in New York

Legal terminology can be especially difficult to understand. You’ll often hear people, including lawyers, recommend that you read all the fine print. Why? As they say, the devil is often in the details.  If you pull out a contract and start to read through the terms, there’s a good chance that you’ll come across dense, unfamiliar legal lingo. Depending on the contracts you’re reading, you might come across the term “subrogation,” a complex term commonly heard in New York courtrooms that we’re going to briefly cover.

At the highest level, subrogation is often used to refer to transferring the legal rights of one party to another. Subrogation is most often used by creditors, insurance agencies, and similar organizations. Read through the fine print of an insurance policy contract you’ve taken out, and you’ll likely come across the term subrogation, as the concept is especially useful for insurance companies.

Let’s take a closer look at subrogation. The following considerations are made with New York as a jurisdiction in mind. However, many of the general points and concepts will remain true in other jurisdictions. Anyone who needs help with subrogation recovery or civil suit claims, in general, should consult a lawyer in New York or their local jurisdiction.

Looking for expert lawyers in NYC who prioritize clients and their needs? The attorneys on staff at SMB Law Firm have ample experience with subrogation cases and a long track record of success. Contact us at your convenience.

Why Transferring Legal Rights Through Subrogation is Sometimes Necessary

An insurance policy will make payouts to policyholders under specific conditions. Quite likely, you’re already familiar with the idea that an insurance company will pay out funds after a car accident, or if a storm strikes a home or other building. Most Americans have experience with one form of insurance or another.

Did you know that in some cases, when you file a claim and secure a payout, you’re also signing over, or transferring some rights? In the case of insurance, with subrogation, you’re transferring the right to sue a third party for damages over to your insurance company. This way, your insurer can pursue damages and may be able to recover funds after they have paid out your claim.

If someone else is at fault for an incident, say a car collision in Manhattan, an accident at a Brooklyn construction site, or wherever else, the negligent party, or the party that caused the accident, may ultimately have to pay for damages, including not just damage to property, but medical bills and the like.

In many cases, if someone else caused an accident, the aggrieved parties have a right to file a lawsuit. However, court cases can take a long time, lawyers are often expensive, and many people need money right now to repair properties, pay medical bills, or cover other costs. This is where subrogation comes in.

Insurance typically pays out claims much more quickly than taking someone to court. If another driver totals your car, say because they ran a red light, there’s a good chance that you’d win a lawsuit against them to cover damages to the car, medical bills, and whatever else. If you have full-coverage insurance, however, you may be able skip all the above by turning to your insurance provider, who will instead pay.

Even after insurance has paid out a claim, the negligent driver may still be liable. In exchange for paying for the claim, your insurance provider may want the right to take the other driver(s) or their insurance companies to court in New York or elsewhere. If your insurance company can win the lawsuit, they may be able to recoup some if not all of the money they paid out to you.

Yet in order to pursue the case, the insurance provider will need you to subrogate, or transfer, your right to sue the negligent driver(s). Without a subrogation clause in the insurance policy, the insurance provider may have no standing to sue the negligent driver. Instead, you might be the only one with the right.

Why Lawyers Are Needed in New York Subrogation Recovery Cases

If an insurance company or anyone else is looking to recover funds via subrogation, they will want to work with expert local attorneys who can analyze the merits of the case and also what the damages or settlement might look like. Likewise, companies or individuals being sued will also want to work with lawyers to mitigate risks, and if necessary, to try to reach a settlement. The attorneys at SMB Law Firm have helped countless clients recoup costs through subrogation. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Civil cases can be complex, especially when large amounts of money is involved, and if the case is in New York, which features one of the most complicated legal environments in the country. Often, incidents that lead to insurance claims unfold in chaotic environments, such as on a construction site or in a busy workplace. Discussions can quickly devolve into “he said, she said” situations. Having proper legal protection, no matter the situation, will reduce risks.

With subrogation recovery in New York, the stakes are often high. Even seemingly small accidents or incidents could have cost hundreds of thousands in damages, medical bills, and all the rest. Fortunately, attorneys who specialize in subrogation recovery can help organizations and individuals. If a negligent party is responsible for causing damages, competent lawyers can help maximize payouts, ensuring that insurance providers and other organizations secure the compensation they deserve.

Contact SMB Law Firm in New York City to learn more.

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