Subrogation means "to substitute." In workers' compensation, subrogation occurs when a third party — someone other than the injured worker or employer — is responsible for the injury. In these cases, Pinnacol can legally substitute itself for the injured worker to recover claims costs from the third party.
Some common examples of subrogation include:
- On-the-job automobile accidents — If a third party (the other driver) causes the accident, we can use subrogation to attempt to recover benefits costs from that driver and/or the driver's insurance company
- Equipment malfunction — Subrogation can be used to recover claims costs from an equipment manufacturer if a faulty piece of equipment causes an injury
If one of your employees is injured, and a third party may be responsible, document everything you can. Take pictures of the accident scene as soon as possible. Also, preserve any evidence, such as a broken piece of equipment. And as with any injury, contact Pinnacol immediately.