Subrogation is defined as a legal right by which one party (frequently an insurance company) makes a payment pursuant to a contract or legal obligation, that is actually owed by another party (frequently a tortfeasor or other responsible party) and then collects the money from the responsible party after the fact. In the insurance context, subrogation is one of the ways that insurance companies recover money that was paid out in claims of their insureds.
While the process is relatively straight-forward, in practice there are many moving parts to the equation. That is frequently why it is sound practice for the insurance company to retain legal counsel to protect and pursue subrogation rights and wise for that retention to occur as early as possible in the process.
Collection and documentation of evidence, interviewing witnesses, and mitigation of collectible damages are all important operations that must be undertaken within the first hours or days after the loss. Frequently the assigned insurance personnel or independent adjuster is thrust upon the scene with little background information and is being besieged by an insured whose focus is on adjustment, or more specifically, getting money set aside of immediate living expenses or retention of remediation personnel to begin to address the damage done. With these immediate demands on the field personnel, the subrogation process is much better attended to by experience subrogation counsel who can focus solely upon evaluation of recovery theories and targets.
Steve Barker has been practicing extensively in the subrogation arena for twenty years first with a large Philadelphia firm, and more recently with his own firm in Florida. He knows all the important issues that may arise in property, automobile accident and workers’ compensation subrogation actions, and is immediately and constantly available to act upon these matters at a moment’s notice. If subrogation potential is not immediately recognized or initiated, there are frequently actions that can be undertaken months, even years later to attempt recovery from parties responsible for claims. Furthermore, Steve has more than 25 years as an active litigator, which followed a judicial clerkship with a state trial court in Pennsylvania. Therefore, whenever the subrogation process is initiated, clients can be sure that all the necessary steps will be implanted to maximize recovery potential through negotiation, or litigation through trial. Equally, as important, the clients will be fully and apprised as to what is happening in the matter, and why.