What is right of subrogation?
Often times in personal injury matters an insurance company gains a right of subrogation. This is the right to either stand in the shoes of their insured and sue the at-fault party who is responsible for the insurance company’s losses or receive a portion of the proceeds to cover their settlement if the insured sues the at-fault party directly and wins. The problem becomes that in some instances, insurance companies have attempted to put their own subrogation interests ahead of the insured’s interests in achieving a full financial recovery.
Washington state’s Made Whole Doctrine generally establishes the priority for the interests of insured individuals where there is conflict with the interests of their own insurance company. In Thiringer v. American Motor Insurance Co., the Washington Supreme Court articulated the Made Whole Doctrine as a general rule as follows: