Published: June 27, 2024 | Jack Bernstein

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Las Vegas and are pursuing a personal injury claim, you might have come across the term “subrogation.” This complex legal concept can significantly impact your settlement, potentially reducing the amount you receive. But what exactly is subrogation, and how does it work in Nevada?

Key TakeawayWhat That Means for You
Subrogation is when your insurance company seeks reimbursement from your settlementPart of your settlement may go back to your insurance company, potentially reducing your compensation
Nevada’s Made Whole Doctrine protects injury victimsYou should be fully compensated for your losses before insurance companies can claim any of your settlement
MedPay subrogation is prohibited in NevadaIf your auto insurance’s MedPay coverage paid for medical bills, they cannot ask for that money back from your settlement
Health insurance subrogation is the most common type in NevadaYour health insurer may try to reclaim money they spent on your medical treatment from your settlement
Other types of subrogation (Medicare, disability, workers’ comp) are less common but possibleDepending on your situation, you may face subrogation claims from various sources
Auto insurance subrogation is generally not allowed in NevadaYour car insurance typically can’t claim part of your settlement, with some exceptions for uninsured/underinsured cases
An experienced personal injury attorney can help negotiate subrogation claimsLegal representation can often reduce or eliminate subrogation claims, maximizing your compensation
Early action is crucial in dealing with subrogationContacting an attorney early in your case can help protect your settlement from excessive subrogation claims

What is Subrogation and How Does it Work in Nevada?

Imagine this scenario:

  1. You’re injured in an accident
  2. Your insurance company pays for your medical bills
  3. You later receive a settlement from the at-fault party
  4. Your insurance company now wants some of that settlement money back

That’s subrogation in a nutshell. It’s when your insurance company seeks reimbursement for expenses they’ve covered on your behalf.

Subrogation is like your insurance company saying, ‘Hey, we fronted the money for your medical bills, but now that you’ve been compensated, we’d like some of that back.’

Why Does Subrogation Exist in Nevada?

You might be wondering, “Why should I have to pay my insurance company back? Isn’t that what I pay premiums for?” There are two main reasons subrogation exists in Nevada:

  1. Preventing Double Recovery
    • Without subrogation, you could potentially be paid twice for the same expenses:
      • Once by your insurance company
      • Again through your settlement
    • The law aims to prevent this “double dipping”
  2. Keeping Insurance Costs Down
    • Subrogation allows insurance companies to recover some of their costs
    • In theory, this helps keep insurance premiums lower for everyone

Remember, subrogation laws in Nevada can be complex. Each case is unique, and the specifics of your situation can greatly affect how subrogation applies to your settlement. That’s why it’s crucial to have an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney on your side.

How Subrogation Can Affect Your Personal Injury Settlement

When you’re recovering from an injury, the last thing you want is a surprise reduction in your settlement amount. Understanding how subrogation works in Nevada can help you better prepare for what to expect.

The Made Whole Doctrine in Nevada

Nevada law provides an important protection for injury victims through the “Made Whole Doctrine.” Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Definition: The Made Whole Doctrine states that you should be fully compensated for your losses before any insurance company can claim part of your settlement.
  2. How it works:
    • Your total losses are calculated (medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.)
    • If your settlement doesn’t cover all these losses, the insurance company can’t take any of it
    • Only if there’s money left over after you’re “made whole” can the insurer pursue subrogation
  3. Why it matters: This doctrine helps ensure that your needs are prioritized over the insurance company’s desire for reimbursement.

The “Made Whole Doctrine” is your shield against unfair subrogation claims. It puts your recovery first.

Nevada’s Stance on MedPay Subrogation

Nevada has a unique and beneficial law when it comes to MedPay coverage:

Key Point: Nevada law prohibits subrogation of MedPay (Medical Payments) coverage.

What does this mean for you?

  • If your auto insurance policy includes MedPay coverage, and it was used to pay for your medical bills after an accident, your insurance company cannot ask for that money back from your settlement.
  • This applies even if you receive compensation from the at-fault party that covers these same medical expenses.
  • It’s essentially “free” coverage that you don’t have to pay back.

Example scenario:

  1. Your MedPay coverage pays $5,000 for your medical bills
  2. You receive a $20,000 settlement from the at-fault driver
  3. Your auto insurance company cannot claim any of that $20,000, even though it includes compensation for those medical bills

This law provides significant protection for Nevada residents, allowing you to keep more of your settlement money.

Remember, while these protections exist, insurance companies may still try to pursue subrogation. Having an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney like Jack Bernstein on your side can help ensure these laws are properly applied to your case, maximizing your compensation.

Types of Subrogation You Might Encounter in Nevada

When dealing with a personal injury case in Nevada, you may face different types of subrogation claims. Understanding these can help you better navigate your settlement negotiations.

Health Insurance Subrogation

Health insurance subrogation is the most common type you’re likely to encounter in Nevada personal injury cases.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. How it works:
    • Your health insurance company pays for your medical treatment after an accident
    • If you receive a settlement, they may seek reimbursement for those expenses
  2. What to watch out for:
    • Review your health insurance policy carefully
    • Some policies have specific subrogation clauses
    • These clauses can affect how much of your settlement you get to keep
  3. The good news:
    • Nevada’s Made Whole Doctrine still applies
    • This means your full compensation comes first, before any subrogation claims

Health insurance subrogation is common, but it doesn’t mean you have to shortchange your recovery. Know your rights.

Other Potential Subrogation Claims (Less Common in Nevada)

While health insurance subrogation is most prevalent, you might encounter other types in Nevada:

  1. Medicare/Medicaid Subrogation
    • These government programs can seek reimbursement
    • They often have strong legal backing for their claims
    • Negotiating these can be complex and may require legal expertise
  2. Disability Insurance Subrogation
    • Less common, but possible if you received disability benefits
    • The insurer might seek repayment if your settlement covers lost wages
  3. Workers’ Compensation Subrogation
    • If your injury was work-related and workers’ comp paid benefits
    • The workers’ comp insurer might have a right to partial reimbursement

Important Note on Auto Insurance:

  • In Nevada, subrogation is generally not allowed for auto insurance claims
  • Exception: If the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured
  • In these cases, your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage might seek subrogation

Remember, each case is unique. The types of subrogation you might face depend on the specifics of your situation, the insurance policies involved, and the nature of your settlement.

Having an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney like Jack Bernstein on your side can be crucial. They can help identify potential subrogation claims early in your case and develop strategies to protect your settlement.

Protecting Your Settlement from Subrogation

Subrogation claims can significantly impact your personal injury settlement. However, with the right approach and legal support, you can protect your compensation and ensure you’re not left short-changed.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

An experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney like Jack Bernstein can be your strongest ally when dealing with subrogation claims. Here’s how:

  1. Negotiating with Insurance Companies
    • Attorneys have the skills and knowledge to negotiate effectively
    • They can often reduce or sometimes even eliminate subrogation claims
    • This can result in you keeping a larger portion of your settlement
  2. Ensuring You Understand Your Rights
    • Subrogation laws in Nevada can be complex
    • A lawyer can explain how these laws apply to your specific case
    • They’ll make sure you’re aware of protections like the Made Whole Doctrine
  3. Maximizing Your Compensation
    • Lawyers can structure your settlement to minimize subrogation impacts
    • They may argue for allocating more of your settlement to non-economic damages (which are often not subject to subrogation)
    • This strategic approach can help you retain more of your compensation

Don’t face subrogation claims alone. With the right legal strategy, we can often reduce these claims and maximize your take-home settlement.

Don’t Leave Money on the Table

When it comes to subrogation in personal injury cases, time is of the essence. Here’s why you should act quickly:

  • Early intervention can prevent insurance companies from establishing unreasonable subrogation claims
  • Your attorney can gather evidence to support arguments against subrogation
  • Prompt action allows for more time to negotiate and potentially reduce subrogation amounts

Remember: Every dollar saved from subrogation is another dollar in your pocket.

Ready to take the next step? Schedule a free consultation with our experienced team. We’ll review your case, answer your questions, and provide honest advice on the best course of action.

Call us today or fill out our online form. Don’t let insurance companies decide your fate. Let Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers fight for you.

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If you have been injured in an accident, contact Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation with experienced Las Vegas accident lawyers. You will gain an advocate for every stage in the claims process until you have the compensation you deserve.

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