If you’ve been injured in a car crash, it may have been completely the other driver’s fault. For example, maybe they ran a red light and crashed into you as you were entering the intersection. Many crashes, however, are more complicated than that. Both drivers may bear some responsibility, even if one person is primarily at fault.
Most people don’t realize that fault and compensation are determined by state law. Indiana recognizes a “modified comparative negligence” rule commonly known as the “51% rule.” This means that if one driver is determined to be at least 51% responsible for a crash, they cannot collect any damages. Therefore, if the driver who caused your crash was primarily at fault, you could collect compensation from their insurer (or the driver directly if they didn’t have enough insurance to cover it and your uninsured/underinsured coverage wasn’t enough).
When could subrogation be used?
Just because you’re entitled to compensation and the other driver has enough coverage, that doesn’t mean you’ll get the money you need to cover bills as they arise. Some insurance companies are better than others about paying claims – especially big ones.
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company is delaying your payment, you may be able to ask your own insurer to step in and cover the amount you’re owed and then seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurer. That’s known as subrogation.
The other insurance company is referred to in this scenario as the third-party carrier (or TPC). You might need to pay your deductible upfront, but that’s a lot better than having to pay medical bills, repair bills and more out of your own pocket while waiting for reimbursement.
It’s a lot to think about at a time when you should be focused on healing, getting your car repaired (or replaced) and more. That’s why it’s wise to have legal guidance to help ensure that fault is properly assigned and that you get the compensation you deserve.