Skip to main content

Can I settle a subrogation claim for less?

Santee, CA |

My 18 year old son was in an accident in my vehicle. I had insurance on the vehicle and he was an excluded driver. I allowed him to drive as I assumed he was keeping up with his own insurance. He rear ended one car and pushed it into another. The front vehicle settled with him directly for $500. The directly hit vehicle was paid by their insurance and now an attorney is contacting me for settlement of $1500. I was threatened that I could have my license suspended for no insurance so I started by providing my insurance info. They never attempted to contact my son and are pressuring me to settle directly. I am willing to offer a lesser amount cash settlement however I want there to be something stipulating that no further actions or claims can be made aginst myself or him. How can I do this?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 6

Posted

You should have reported this immediately to your insurance carrier as they could have denied coverage for failure to promptly report the claims. It is good that they now appear to be handling the claim. Let them negotiate a settlement, pay your deductible (if applicable). Your insurance adjuster will require a release agreement as a condition for payment which will absolve you of further liability for whatever claims are settled.

Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. Attorney will take no action on your behalf unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery.

Asker

Posted

I contacted my insurance within hours. They told me they would not cover as he is listed as excluded driver. Both other parties involved tried to file against my insurance and told the same.

Asker

Posted

I guess to be more clear, my insurance wont touch this. The other party had their insurance cover, I am assuming under their uninsured motorist coverage and now their insurance company is asking me for reimbursement.

Scott J. Corwin

Scott J. Corwin

Posted

You may want to consult with a lawyer to review the details of the case.

Posted

If you agree to handle the medical bills as part of the settlement then you can negotiate for reductions. Make sure that this money is included into any settlement amount. Insurance companies negotiate on these bills all the time and pocket the difference. The only difference this time is your son gets the benefit of the reductions.

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.

Asker

Posted

To my knowledge, there were no medical bills, and that the other parties insurance paid for their vehicle damages, using their uninsured motorist coverage. I believe that is what their insurance company, through this attorney, are attempting me to reimburse them for. They are referring to it as a "damage claim". Can I still request a lesser amount to settle this for? And how can I insure that they dont seperatly try to collect from my son?

Scott J. Corwin

Scott J. Corwin

Posted

Mr. McCormick is correct. You may want to consult with a local personal injury attorney.

Posted

like businesses where there is a boss (i.e. “principal”) who hires employees (i.e. “agents.”)
The boss sometimes provides a vehicle for his employees to use in order to carry out the
bosses business. In much the same way, there is a “head of the household” that often
provides a vehicle (car, truck, boat, etc…) for the use, enjoyment and convenience of family
members. What if an employee, while engaged in the boss’s business, is involved in a car
accident that’s the employee’s fault? In that context, doesn’t it make sense that the boss
(and his business) should bear at least some responsibility for the accident? The employee
is an agent of the business. He is the alter-ego of the boss. He is a representative of the
business.
In similar fashion, if/when a parent keeps a car for the pleasure or convenience of family
members, the parent is essentially operating a business and is acting as a boss (i.e.
“principal”) who makes it his business of providing for the enjoyment, pleasure, comfort and
convenience of family members (i.e. “agents”) - including his children. As a “boss,” the
parent can be held responsible for accidents that are the child’s fault. Actual ownership of
the vehicle is not determinative, nor does it necessarily matter who has title to the vehicle,
who has insurance on the vehicle, or who pays for the maintenance or upkeep of the vehicle.
CALIFORNIA: Parents are responsible if the parent has knowledge of the child's potential for misconduct and fails to take reasonable steps to prevent such misconduct; if the parent has signed the child's driver's license application or the child drives the parent's car with the parent's knowledge and permission; if the child is guilty of willful misconduct; or if the child is given ready access to a firearm.

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Howard Roitman, Esq. and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

Asker

Posted

I accept responsibility in this matter. Shame on me for believing my adult son would be honest with me in regards to carrying insurance. That isnt my question. I want to know if it is possible to settle for less (all bills were covered and paid for by the other parties insurance, and that insurance company is trying to receive money from me to reimburse them for an uninsured motorist claim that they paid their client for).

Posted

I agree with my colleagues. You may want to consult with a local auto accident personal injury attorney to evaluate the details of the case to help you lower the settlement amount. I hope you found my answer helpful.

Posted

For starters, all of these types of claims are negotiable. You need to contact a competent auto accident attorney who can prepare the documents (called releases) that will protect you from any further claims or legal actions against you arising out of this incident.

Posted

The short answer to your question is YES. You can always negotiate however, it is a good idea to retain and experienced attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer