Subrogation is an efficient and cost-effective legal tool for self-insured companies to recover losses paid in connection with property and casualty, workers’ compensation, and other claims.  It is a method that allows a company to mitigate significant losses, thereby increasing profits and reducing the company’s loss ratio.  

Property and Casualty Claims

Self-insured companies have a right of subrogation in property and casualty claims.  After the incident, a swift and thorough investigation is key to successful subrogation recovery.  Although a company’s insurance carrier may investigate the claim, it’s financial interests may be limited by the terms of the policy.  General or in house counsel, or even the Human Resources department, is then responsible for evaluating and investigating the subrogation potential of the matter.  But because subrogation law is so unique, many lawyers lack the time and expertise to vigorously pursue a subrogated claim.  This is a mistake.  A company that fails to fully exercise its legal subrogation muscles may end up with an inadequate settlement where a full recovery was possible.  

Workers’ Compensation Claims

Workers’ Compensation claims are statutory in nature, and self-insured companies retain a right of subrogation under the relevant scheme.  If a worker is injured on the job, the self-insured employer is obligated to pay the relevant benefit and medical expenses connected to the claim.  Where another party is responsible for the injuries, a subrogation legal theory creates the potential for the self-insured company to recover the entirety of the claim from a responsible tortfeasor.  

As with property and casualty claims, subrogation law in the workers’ compensation field can be technical and complex.  Third party adjustors may not adequately understand how to  protect the company’s right of subrogation.

Preparing for a Subrogation Claim

Any time a company suffers a potentially large loss, it should swiftly take steps begin a thorough investigation, anticipating both the normal course of action for a loss, and additionally the pursuit of a subrogated claim.  Documentation is key.  Immediately interview witnesses, injured parties, and potential defendants to lock in future testimony.  Photograph and record every aspect of the claim and surrounding areas.  Preserve all tangible evidence and documentation, including relevant training manuals, owner manuals, reports and any other paperwork related to the incident.  

Bring In the Experts

The sooner you reach out to subrogation counsel the better.  Rathbone Group offers comprehensive investigation services and expert witnesses to assist with your investigation.

Many subrogation dollars are lost because neither the self-insured nor its servicing partners adequately investigate a subrogated claim.  Where a possible subrogation claim exists, it is wise, timely and cost-effective to reach out to subrogation experts.

Rathbone Group alleviates concerns about incurring additional investigation costs by offering clients a contingency fee structure for attorneys’ fees.  Our careful efforts assist employees through the recovery process while protecting the company’s claim. Always mindful of costs, our creative approach includes checkpoints designated by the client to ensure handling is proceeding as the client prefers.

Our law firm’s subrogation analysis also identifies additional liable parties in a myriad of loss situations. For the subrogation of self-insured claims, our investigation program locates and negotiates with any responsible parties. Rathbone Group’s subrogation recovery program can complement and enhance any existing claims or recovery program.