A Release Doesn't Release
Our firm has been involved
in a number of cases where the tortfeasor’s insurance company
works quickly to obtain a release from the adverse insured in exchange
for a nominal sum – most often the amount of the deductible –
and then attempts to use that release offensively arguing that the release
effectively extinguishes all related claims including claims for subrogation.
More problematic for a subrogating insurance carrier is where the release
includes indemnity language obligating the insured to personally indemnify
the unscrupulous carrier for all claims allegedly released by the insured.
At first glance, the subrogating insurer may be inclined to accept the
release so as to avoid the potential risk to the insured and close the
file; however, these types of cases deserve a second look...
Accord and Satisfaction
The issue of accord and
satisfaction is one that typically occurs in instances where an insurance
professional treats a payment as a partial payment towards the subrogation
damages owed, rather than in-full satisfaction of the claim. Unfortunately,
Texas law is very specific about how partial settlement payments should
be handled to avoid releasing the adverse carrier from further claims
for damages still owed. Pursuant to the Texas Business and Commerce
Code, accord and satisfaction through the tender of a check or other
negotiable instrument, even though not for the full amount of the underlying
claim, is sufficient to discharge the claim against whom the claim is
asserted if certain conditions are met. Those conditions are:...
Low dollar uninsured motorist
cases are synonymous with a high volume subrogation practice. To many,
this area of subrogation practice is often considered the least desirable
and least profitable of all subrogation areas. For those seeking to
break into the subrogation craft, the barriers to entry are low, given
that it is very inexpensive to file a typical auto subrogation case
and in the vast majority of these files there will be no need for depositions,
experts and the other traditional expenses of litigation. Given these
low barriers to entry, an insurance carrier must be highly selective
when referring cases in volume to a law firm...