Can a car accident victim and their insurance subrogation company sue me separately for the same thing?

I was the at fault party in an accident a few months back. The car I drove didn’t have insurance. The victim’s work insurance paid out her medical and hired a subrogation company to collect a reimbursement (of sorts) from me for the medical, her co-pays, and lost wages. The victim, however, also mentioned she would be suing me for her medical/co-pays. My question is, since the subrogation company has contacted me on her and her employers behalf, can she sue me once I pay them back? Seems if she did I’d be paying out twice.

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You don't have to pay the same damages, or compensation, twice, but you may have to pay both parties. For example: say someone suffering $20,000 of medical costs and $5,000 of lost wages. Say her insurance paid 80% of her medical and all but $500 of the lost wages: she then received $20,500 from her insurer, but is still out of pocket for the balance, or $4,500. The insurer could sue you for the $20,500 it paid out; then the person herself could sue you for the $4,500 she is out of pocket. Between the two of them, you should not have to pay more than the $25,000 total, but that total amount of damages could be split between insurer and insured.


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