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Can my son's heathcare provider go after a liability settlement in after a fatal motorcycle accident?

San Lorenzo, CA |

Can my son's heathcare provider go after a liability settlement in after a fatal motorcycle accident? He was not at fault and we had to settle with the other partys insurance for the liability coverage payout. The medical insurance was through my wifes company insurance who just now is paying the medical after 6 months. Now we are receiving questionaires about compenstaion etc. that want all the other partys insurance info etc.
My wife's company insurance changed last month, can her prior company go after the non taxable liability money in a fatality?

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Attorney answers 3


Some states like NJ have a "collateral estoppel" rule which bars insurance companies from attaching onto awards from liability suits. In NJ only insurers permitted by statute or ERISA may go after such awards. I am not familiar with the rules in Cal,but I suspect any personal injury lawyer in your state can tell you what the "subrogation"rights of the insurance company is. Subrogation is the process by which an insurer can seek recompense for payments made to their insured.
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Mr. Sarno is licensed to practice law in NJ and NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Sarno strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information.


My understanding is if your son's estate made a claim against the defendant, then the insurance company can try to recover for the medical expenses it paid for. However, if you made a claim as a survivor against the defendant, then that wrongful death cause of action is personal to you.

If the insurance wants to recover for medical expenses they need to make a claim against your son's estate.


I am sorry to hear of the loss of your son. To answer your question, your claim was for wrongful death. You were not a party to the insurance contract. Therefore, you do not have to reimburse the health insurance carrier out of your wrongful death settlement.

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