November 2020 Subrogation Newsletter
Settling Subrogation Claims And The Dreaded Release: Release Language, Indemnity, Hold Harmless, and Other Concerns
Release Language, Indemnity, Hold Harmless, and Other Concerns. The bane of any subrogation professional’s existence is the dreaded release. It is no coincidence that when Zeus uttered the words, “Release the Kraken!” in the 1981 fantasy adventure film The Clash of the Titans, he chose the word “Release.” The meme itself connotes setting loose utter destruction on one’s enemy—a description which can be woefully accurate to describe the potential aftermath of signing releases which are overbroad and contain terms, conditions, and obligations which a subrogated carrier has no business agreeing to or assuming. If you’re not careful, you will wish you had never settled the case in the first place.
The War Hazards Compensation Act (WHCA) applies to DBA employees who are injured as a result of hostile actions. While WHCA claims can be substantial, the statute provides a detailed set of procedures and requirements which, if performed properly, allow the employer or carrier to see 100% reimbursement of such claims including allocated and unallocated expenses—not from a responsible tortfeasor, but from the government itself.
Arizona Court Rules Med Pay Carrier Only Responsible For Paying Reasonable Medical Expenses—Not Amount Billed To Insured
In the continuing struggle between recovery of medical expenses billed vs. recovery of discounted medical expenses paid by insurers, an Arizona federal court has sounded off on the duty and obligation of a Med Pay carrier with respect to paying its insured for medical bills. The implication of this evolving area of law is having a profound impact in the area of subrogation, and recovery professionals would do well to be aware of these laws from state to state.