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Is there a way to fight a subrogation claim?

Modesto, CA |

My husband was recently in a car accident where the other vehicle turned out on to a street, crossed over 4 lanes, and struck the rear driver's side tire of our car. We had not been responsible and hadn't gotten insurance on the car yet (we had purchased it the month before). We were just past the 30 day marker for insurance carrying over to our new vehicle. My husband didn't call the police. The people who hit us have been lying and said that we hit them. Allstate (the other driver's insurance) said they couldn't determine who was at fault and now we have a subrogation bill to pay for the car that hit us for over $1,000! Is there a way to fight this since they did hit us and we have 2 witnesses other than my husband who were in the vehicle?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. This is a great question! First of all, I am sorry for what you are going through.
    Yes----there is a way to fight this! You have two options:
    1. Hire a personal injury lawyer (or do it yourself) and make a claim for your economic damages; and 2. Reject the subrogation demand. When you do this, make it clear ---over and over again---that you are not admitting responsibility for the debt and will fight liability in the courts, if necessary.
    The insurer may eventually send the matter out to a collection agency. Tell them the same thing, and so on. It is possible that they will drop the matter rather than pursue such a small amount.
    In the mean time, get written statements under penalty of perjury, if possible, from each witness a long with their best contact information. The work you do now, will protect you later. Don't wait. People move and forget and later refuse to cooperate.
    With a disputed liability and positive witness statements, I do not anticipate you ever having to pay this subrogation bill.
    Best of luck to you on this!

  2. The easiest way to fight this would be to hire an attorney. You should at least talk with a personal injury attorney to explore your options because your insurance may not have been correctly cancelled.

    Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.

  3. Yes, you can retain a local car accident lawyer or tell them to sue you. I'm unclear why you waited over a month to get insurance on your vehicle and why the police weren't called to the accident.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755

  4. The insurance company's subrogation claim is nothing more than its opinion that you should pay for the damages. It is trying to bully you into repaying it for a claim it paid. It has no legal right to require you to pay, or to turn the matter over for collection. Before the insurance company has a valid legally enforceable claim it will have to sue you and establish in court that you are at fault for causing the damage. If you had insurance your insurance company would pay for the cost of your attorney if you are sued. Without insurance you will have to hire your own attorney. You should consult an attorney to review your insurance coverage situation.

  5. Reject the subrogation demand. They have to pay you to collect, and they probably won't since they need an attorney.

    If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email -

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