Another Reason You Need an Experienced Dothan, Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer

by Aaron Gartlan

September 30, 2011 | Personal Injury

This Dothan, Alabama personal injury lawyer does not have to look too far to show you an example how big corporations like insurance companies have a strong lobby in congress and the state legislature and have the ability to get laws passed that favor them. Two examples of this in the State of Alabama are the collateral source rule and the concept of subrogation. These laws help giant corporations, especially insurance companies and can hurt injured people in Alabama and their families.

Subrogation allows an insurance company that pays money on your behalf to attempt to collect that money from another party if the other party is at fault in causing the injury and damages. For example, if you are in a car wreck and another driver causes your injuries and damages and your health insurance provider or Medicare or Medicaid pays your medical bills as they are required to do, and you reach a settlement with the insurance company of the other driver that caused your injuries and damages, then your health insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid is entitled to get that money back from your settlement. Most people are not aware of this and are upset when they find out. Subrogation can slow down and complicate settlements and the litigation process. Some states have enacted anti-subrogation laws to simplify settlements and litigation. Insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid have entire departments dedicated to subrogation. An experienced Dothan Alabama personal injury lawyer will work with these departments to attempt to reduce or eliminate the subrogation obligation and make sure it has been fulfilled.

An experienced Dothan, Alabama personal injury attorney would know about the collateral source rule that states that an insured person can only recover the amount their health insurance company paid and their out of pocket expenses, not the total cost of medical treatment, and it allows insurance companies to keep the fact that there is insurance coverage to pay for the injuries and damages caused by their insured a secret from the jury. However, the defense attorney for the insurance company can present to the jury the fact that health insurance paid the medical bills and the amount paid rather than the total charges associated with your medical treatment. For instance, if the car wreck that I discussed earlier did not settle and winds up in a jury trial, then your Dothan personal injury and accident lawyer could not let the jury know that the other driver had automobile insurance coverage, but the insurance defense attorney could tell the jury that your medical bills have been covered and the amounts paid to your health insurance company. This puts the injured person in the State of Alabama at a disadvantage because jurors are often unwilling to hold a defendant fully accountable for the injuries and damages their actions and the injuries and damages caused by those actions if the jurors believe that the defendant will be unable to pay or will be greatly harmed if forced to fully pay.

These are just some examples of how laws in the State of Alabama favor powerful corporations. Dothan Alabama personal injury and accident lawyer Aaron Gartlan of Gartlan Injury Law have vast experience in dealing with huge corporations such as insurance companies and take pride in standing up to them on behalf of people and families that have been injured and welcome your calls and visits.


Aaron Gartlan is a graduate of Troy University and the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law who focuses his practice exclusively on representing those injured by the wrongdoing of others. He is member of the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In addition to his legal practice, Aaron teaches Business Law as an adjunct instructor at Troy University’s Sorrell College of Business and serves as a field artillery sergeant in the Alabama National Guard.

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