I just settled my personal injury case and my lawyer told me that I have to re-pay my health insurance company the amount they paid for my medical bills from the accident. That doesn’t seem fair. Is my lawyer right?
Your lawyer is probably right. Most health insurance policies have what are known as subrogation or reimbursement clauses. These clauses mean that if you get hurt and collect medical bills paid by your insurance company from the person who hurt you your insurance company gets paid back.
If your insurance through a government-sponsored program like Tenncare or Medicare you also have a responsibility to re-pay the government out of any settlement you receive.
Sometimes a lawyer can persuade an insurance company or the government to accept less money than the company actually paid for your bills. Whether this can be done depends on the type of insurance policy you have, the language of the policy, and various other factors.
Good lawyers tell their personal injury clients about the probability of having to re-pay the health insurer when they are initially hired in the case. There is no reason why a client should learn about the obligation to re-pay a health insurer after a settlement is reached.