Nicolet Law Office, S.C.

Double Recovery in a Personal Injury Claim?

When an insured person is injured in a car accident, he or
she is often compensated by his or her insurance company. The person's
insurance company will later seek reimbursement for the money it paid its
insured, seeking payment from the person(s) who injured its insured, this is
known as subrogation. Subrogation can be confusing, especially so when a
person's insurance company is not successful in its attempted subrogation. A
Wisconsin Supreme Court case from the Spring of 2011 examined this issue when
an insured couple faced the unique prospect of being paid twice for their
medical expenses.

Roger and Sandra Fischer were injured in an automobile
accident, when Pamela Steffen suffered a seizure and caused a collision. After accruing
$12, 157.14 in medical expenses associated with the collision, the Fischers
were given $10,000 to reimburse them for a portion of their medical expenses by
their insurance company, American Family.

As is common, in scenarios such as this, American Family
acquired a subrogation claim meaning that American Family would have the right
to attempt to recover the $10,000 from Steffen and/or her insurer, Wilson
Mutual Insurance Co. However, when American Family attempted to recoup the
$10,000 from Wilson Mutual via arbitration they were denied recovery. Recovery
was denied to American Family because the arbitrator determined that Steffen
was not casually negligent due to the fact that her seizure was sudden and
unexpected.

Thereafter, American Family was effectively removed from the
legal process, as the Fischers continued a lawsuit against Steffen and Wilson
Mutual. A jury found Steffen negligent and awarded the Fischers $21,000.00 for
pain and suffering and loss of consortium and $12,157.14 for their medical
expenses. Steffan did not agree with the amount awarded for medical expenses.

Steffan petitioned the court, asking for the $12,157.14
awarded to the Fischers for medical expenses to be reduced by $10,000.00
because of the $10,000.00 already paid to the Fischers by their insurance
company, American Family. Steffan argued that the Fischers would be obtaining a
"double recovery" if she were forced to pay the full award. The Fischers argued,
among other things, that Steffan and Wilson Mutual would be getting away
without paying for the damages that she caused. The court examined the
interplay of several legal doctrines, including, the collateral source rule,
subrogation, and the made whole doctrine and decided against the Fischers, agreeing
with Steffan that in this scenario, the jury award should be reduced by
$10,000.00.

If you are injured in an automobile accident, the legal
process after the accident can almost be as confusing and frightening as the
accident itself. Contact the dedicated legal professionals at Nicolet Law Office, S.C. today to help guide you forward.

Written by: Russell D. Nicolet

*please note that this is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. If you have questions or need legal advice please setup an appointment with our attorney, or an attorney of your choosing.

Russell is an attorney with Nicolet Law Office, S.C. Russell represents injured clients in Hudson, New Richmond, River Falls, Prescott, Ellsworth, Roberts, Osceola, St. Croix Falls, Menomonie, Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and surrounding areas of Wisconsin.

Nicolet Law Office, S.C. has offices in Eau Claire, WI, Hudson, WI and Woodbury, MN and handles car accidents and other personal injury claims. For more information call 715-377-2141 or 715-835-5959 or visit www.nicoletlaw.com or www.eauclaireinjurylaw.com

Awards & Recognition

Our peers and independent third-party organizations have recognized the hard work and dedication we put into every case. This has led to numerous awards and accolades.

  1. Rated By Super Lawyers | Russel D. Nicolet
    Super Lawyers Rising Stars
    Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Personal Injury Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Bankruptcy
  2. The American Association of Legal Advocates Wisconsin Association for Justice BBB Accredited Business - A+
  3. Minnesota State Bar Association American Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin
  4. BV Distinguished | Lexis Nexis | Martindale-Hubbell | For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability The National Trial Lawyers Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Personal Attention To You -
Personal Dedication To Your Case

Contact us today for a free consultation where you will speak directly with one of our attorneys. We are conveniently located for your accessibility, with offices in Hudson, Eau Claire, and five other cities throughout the region. If your condition prevents you from coming to one of our offices, we will happily meet with you at your home or another location that is comfortable for you.

Call Us: 800-456-6956

  • In Wisconsin, call: 715-802-0872
  • In Minnesota, call: 651-243-2872

Tell Us About Your Case We’ll review your case details and contact you with an action plan.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response

Wisconsin Offices

Hudson Office
511 2nd Street Suite 203
Hudson, WI 54016

Phone: 715-802-0872
Hudson Law Office Map

Rice Lake Office
337 N. Main Street
Rice Lake, WI 54868

Phone: 715-802-0872
Rice Lake Law Office Map

Eau Claire Office
402 Graham Ave, Suite 305
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Phone: 715-802-0872
Eau Claire Law Office Map

Superior Office
1200 Tower Ave.
Superior, WI 54880

Phone: 715-802-0872
Superior Law Office Map

New Richmond Office
1500 Madison Ave., Suite 220
New Richmond, WI 54017

Phone: 715-802-0872
New Richmond Law Office Map

Wausau Office
408 Third Street, Suite 303
Wausau, WI 54401

Phone: 715-802-0872
Wausau Law Office Map

Woodbury Office
724 Bielenberg Drive, Suite 126
Woodbury, MN 55125

Phone: 651-243-2872
Woodbury Law Office Map

Duluth Office
109 North 2nd Avenue West
Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: 218-208-6502
Duluth Law Office Map

Hibbing Office
Howard Court Bldg.
302 Howard St. , Ste. 123
Hibbing, MN 55746

Phone: 218-208-6502
Hibbing Law Office Map

Minnesota Offices