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The Affect of Health Insurance and Employer-Paid Sick Leave on an Auto Accident Settlement

Does health insurance and employer-paid sick leave limit the amount of compensation an auto accident victim will receive to offset the costs of medical treatment, rehabilitation, medications and future treatment? The short answer is no.

If you have a health insurance policy that paid for medical treatment related to injuries sustained in the auto accident, it is possible that those amounts will have to be reimbursed to the health insurance carrier upon settlement or jury award. However, the health insurance policy needs to be reviewed by your legal counsel to determine if there is a subrogation (reimbursement) clause within the health insurance contract. While the majority of health insurance policies do include a subrogation clause, there are some policies without it, which then precludes reimbursement. If there is a subrogation clause, the health insurance company will most likely issue a lien on the settlement or jury award proceeds. It should be noted that Medicare and state medical aid have “super liens.” This means that any liens for these agencies must be reimbursed prior to the plaintiff receiving any of the settlement award. All of this being said, any health insurance liens, including the super liens, against a settlement can generally be reduced by negotiations through your legal counsel.

If you are unable to work because of injuries sustained in an auto accident and use your employer-paid sick leave, the equivalent dollar amount can be included as damages. While the settlement award will not give you back the time you lost, it can reimburse you for having to use time. Some companies have a subrogation clause in their employment manual. If so, the company will be directly reimbursed for sick leave paid to a employee, effectively restoring the employee’s sick leave to a pre-accident status.

Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney

As you can see, the claims process is quite complicated and it’s best to remember that insurance companies are in business to make money, not disburse it. If you or someone you care for has been injured in an auto accident, an experienced Florida car accident attorney such as James O. Cunningham can explain your options and rights under the law. His Florida personal injury law firm has been dealing with insurance companies for over three decades in court cases and negotiating settlements. He will do his best to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve to offset costly medical care and rehabilitation from your injuries. To schedule a free consultation with Florida personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham, call his law office today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587).

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