Subrogation of Uninsured Motorcycle Accidents in Chattanooga

While Tennessee adheres to a doctrine that is dedicated towards making an individual financially whole again following an accident that was not their fault, insurance companies also possess several protection measures, including the subrogation of uninsured motorcycle accidents in Chattanooga. This means that if an individual already claimed a significant amount of damages from other lawsuits for an accident, they cannot also go after an insurance company’s uninsured coverage as well if a defendant’s policy did not cover those extra damages. Read on to learn more about the subrogation of uninsured motorcycle accidents in Chattanooga, as well as the ways a dedicated injury attorney could act in your best interests today.

The Made Whole Doctrine

Health insurance and sick leave for motorcycle accidents in Chattanooga can be extremely beneficial to an injured motorcyclist. Tennessee adheres strongly to the made whole doctrine. However, Tennessee also has fairly strong subrogation rights in favor of insurance companies such as health insurance companies that incur expenses following an accident. These mechanisms operate to make sure that an individual will be made whole following an accident where someone else was at fault. However, the subrogation of uninsured motorcycle accidents in Chattanooga will not allow an individual to claim additional damages from uninsured coverage after already winning compensation from other sources.

Subrogation of Uninsured Motorist Payments

Tennessee Code 56-7-1201(d) allows the insurance companies to offset their uninsured motorist payments or insurance payments against other claims that a policy holder may receive. A company’s subrogation of motorcycle accidents in Chattanooga will ultimately limit the amount of compensation someone can receive to prevent unjustly large awards from being given. If an individual is hurt in a motorcycle wreck because of the negligent driving of a motorist who does not carry insurance, his or her health insurance company can offset their coverage of the amount they received from the lawsuit. The purpose of that offset is to prevent double dipping or an unjust enrichment by the party who was injured and not at fault.

How Harper v. Rollins Affects Accident Cases

The leading case on these offsets is the Harper v. Rollins case. In that case, Linda Harper died in a multi-vehicle accident and her husband brought wrongful death suits against the other drivers. They also brought a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of his wife’s vehicle. The husband was able to settle with all drivers except for one, and also settled with the manufacturer for a total settlement of about $530,000. The remaining defendant who did not settle with Mr. Harper had an insurance policy with a $10,000 limit.

Instead of suing the other driver with a $10,000 limit, the husband filed against his own wife’s insurance carrier for the uninsured motorist coverage of $100,000. The insurance company moved to dismiss his claim, stating that 1201(d) works as a cap for the amount he could claim from her injuries and death. The trial court agreed and dismissed the case. The Supreme Court of Tennessee looked at the plain language of the statute and said that the limit of liability for an insurer providing an insured coverage under the section is the amount of the coverage specified in the policy, plus the sum of the limits collectible under all policies, bonds, and securities applicable to the injury claim.

For this reason, the court held that the insurance company may offset the uninsured motorist coverage with all insurance payments. Since $530,000 exceeded the $100,000 coverage from Mr. Harper, the claim was excluded and he was denied that additional coverage. An individual’s health insurance can similarly be reduced because of this made whole doctrine and the health insurance company subrogation of uninsured motorcycle accidents in Chattanooga.

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