Is a car insurance company entitled to the money from a judgment in court?

February 4, 2018 · Posted in FAQ 
car insurance
J J asked:

The insurance company paid me for the damages to my car and then I sued the person that did the damage. Is the insurance comany entitled to the money I was awarded in court, even though they did not participate in the court proceedings? In fact, I gave the insurance company information on the case and they did nothing to reclaim the money on their own.

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9 Responses to “Is a car insurance company entitled to the money from a judgment in court?”

  1. Paige on March 28th, 2009 7:36 am

    If they are entitled, I am sure they will let you know, If all else fails ask your lawyer.

  2. Dana A on March 30th, 2009 8:49 pm

    To the extent the insurance company paid for damage to the car, if you recovered damages for damage to the car your insurance company is entitled to that money, up to the lesser of the amount they paid you or the amount you were awarded for damage to the car. This is a legal doctrine known as “subrogation” which means the insurance company upon payment to you receives an assignment of your rights by operation of law.

  3. oklatom on April 2nd, 2009 6:13 am

    You can’t collect twice on the same accident. If you have already collected from insurance, and then manage to get the person at fault to pay, you can keep that but you have to give the insurance back what they gave you.

  4. msds on April 3rd, 2009 5:29 am

    I don’t think so, if you were the plaintif then they shouldn’t have claim to the money, as long as you were truthful in court regarding the claim you made to the insurance company.

  5. DrDebate on April 6th, 2009 1:29 pm

    If your insurance company compensated you for the claim when the other party was responsible, then you sued the other party and won your insurance company has a claim on that money up to the amount they paid you.

    Look at it this way, at $200+ per hour, it’s often cheaper to not fight then to fight and win. Your insurance company might have figured it was cheaper to pay you then sue the other party. It’s might seem shady at first, but that’s the way the game is played.

  6. Fred C on April 7th, 2009 9:00 pm

    This sounds a little strange. If the insurance paid you for your damage, then you were paid for your damage. You aren’t entitled to collect twice for the same damage, so I don’t understand how you could sue without the insurance company that paid out being part of the action. Did you not get asked in court if compensation had already been paid?

  7. Marshall on April 9th, 2009 8:02 am

    Yes and no. They are entitled to reclaim any settlement you received for damages they initially reimbursed. If they gave you $1500 for your car they get that $1500 back. They are not entitled to any other damages settlement you receive. For example pain and suffering, medical bills (ones the insurance company didn’t pay initially), time off from work, legal fees, etc.

    Bottom line, if the insurance company paid you for damages, then you sue someone else for the same damages and get a settlement, the insurance company gets their money back. You just did your insurance company a favor. And they will still probably raise your rates because they paid you a claim in the first place.

    Insurance companies need a serious overhaul, they are criminal. Just ask those of us hit by hurricane Katrina who paid insurance premiums for 20+ years, and lost everything in the water surge brought on be the winds of the storm. But since the house was washed away and not blown away during the storm we get NOTHING to rebuild our lives!

  8. lebisec on April 9th, 2009 10:48 pm

    why should you be paid twice,the answer is yes,although it may sound wierd. you insurance company had to sue the other persons insurance to settle with you.

  9. shelcom on April 11th, 2009 9:55 am

    Technically, if you recover from the other driver you must repay the insurance company up to the amount they paid. If you collect more it belongs to you.
    However, if the insurance company had a chance to go after the other driver and didn’t then you’d have a good argument for keeping the money.

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