The Made Whole Doctrine
When a person is injured in an accident that was caused by the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, that victim usually seeks care and treatment with their own doctor, an urgent care center or an emergency room. That victim typically uses some form of insurance to cover the cost of those services along with any other future care and treatment related to the accident. All of this can get quite costly. What comes to issue is the fact that the insurer is now at a loss in a personal injury claim that wasn’t the fault of its own insured person. Does it need to absorb that loss? No, not if it reserved its right to subrogation in its contract of insurance. It steps into the shoes of its insured person to recover its losses. Subrogation lawsuits are filed every day the across the country against people who negligently caused accidents and injuries.
The Made Whole Doctrine
The made whole doctrine can operate against an insurer that is trying to recoup its losses on an insured’s medical bills. The doctrine is a common law equitable rule that’s intended to shield an accident victim from his or her own insurer that’s attempting to subrogate when he or she has not been fully compensated for their injuries and damages. The accident victim must be made whole again before their insurer can subrogate. Here’s an example of the made whole doctrine. Suzie is stopped at a red light in broad day light when Alan, who is texting while driving rear-ends her vehicle. Suzie is taken to an emergency room by paramedics and treats with a physical therapy clinic for two months. Her total medical bills are $7,500. Not having improved, Suzie’s orthopedist tells her she’ll be needing surgery for a herniated disc in her lower back. She files a personal injury lawsuit, but she’s only able to recover Alan’s minimum liability Kentucky policy limit of $25,000. The value of Suzie’s case is well over $100,000. Suzie won’t be made whole, but she’s protected from her own insurance company trying to get its money back by the made whole doctrine, unless she agreed to waive it. Kentucky courts frown on innocent accident victims not being made whole, so they’re going to require sufficient proof of such a waiver. Insurers will most likely try to rely on their policy language to support their position.
The Opposing Insurance Company
An opposing insurance company is going to try to pay you as little as possible in compensation after a personal injury accident. Then, if you don’t protect yourself, your own insurance company will try to grab as much as possible from any settlement or verdict that you receive in order to try and make itself whole again. Don’t get squeezed in the middle when you’re a personal injury accident victim. Contact us at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC as soon as you can after being injured in any personal injury accident anywhere in Kentucky for a free consultation and case evaluation. We’re going to listen to you carefully, answer your questions and advise you on the legal relief that might be available to you. Upon being retained to represent you, our goal will be to obtain the maximum settlement or verdict that you deserve. Don’t sit on your rights. Contact us right away by phone or email after being injured in any personal injury accident. We want to obtain the highest net settlement or verdict for you that you deserve.
Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer in Kentucky
There are a few key things to know before moving forward with your personal injury lawsuit in Kentucky. It is vital that you act quickly and contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The types of damages you can expect to receive depend very much upon the specific nature of your situation. In general, however, damages you can seek include medical expenses, future medical bills, lost wages due to time away from work, future lost wages, and compensation for your pain and suffering. If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, do not wait another minute, call us right now at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC at (502) 458-5555 to discuss your case and get the help you deserve.