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The Made Whole Doctrine and How it Applies to Your PG&E Claim

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The Made Whole Doctrine is an area of the law that protects injured victims from their own insurance company. Specifically, the doctrine protects victims from insurance companies seeking money paid out on a claim against the said insurance company. In other words, it protects you from insurance companies looking for an easy way to make back some of the money they lost through a lawsuit.

The Made Whole Doctrine protects victims from an insurance company “seeking reimbursement from a victim of a personal injury or property damage when the victim has not been fully compensated for his or her damages” (SHouse Law Group). It limits the rights of an insurer to seek subrogation from victims whenever the said victims have not recovered the entirety of their debt.

What Does the Made Whole Doctrine Have to Do With the PG&E Camp Fire Insurance Lawsuit?

Since the Made Whole Doctrine actively protects the insured from their insurance provider, it will be a huge talking point throughout the entirety of all the PG&E insurance claim cases. Specifically, PG&E will likely seek subrogation from the victims of the Camp Fire (and other California wildfires throughout 2017 and 2018). Doing so may help recover some of their losses, both from the claims themselves and from their recent bankruptcy. Regardless of their reason for seeking subrogation, the Made Whole Doctrine will significantly help victims when making their claims.

Since both parties in these types of lawsuits are seeking to draw money from the same financial well, there is often nowhere near enough money to compensate the victim. When that happens, the Made Whole Doctrine “steps in” and makes it legally impossible for the insurance provider to pull money from the victim’s payout pool to cover their losses.

What is Subrogation, and What Does it Have to Do With The Made Whole Doctrine?

We’ve mentioned the legal term “subrogation” several times in this post. So, we thought it’d be a good idea to define it for you to help avoid some confusion. Basically, subrogation is:

“The right of an insurance company to recover money from the person who caused the accident for the damages it paid to you, [and] to be put in the position of the accident victim to pursue recovery from the person responsible for the accident. The substitution of the insurance company in place of the accident victim to whose rights they take over. By agreeing to pay money to the accident victim, the insurance company is given the right to ake the place of the accident victim and get reimbursed by the person who caused the accident.” – SHouse Law Group.

Subrogation is the process in which insurance companies seek financial restitution from the victim during a lawsuit or claim. However, the Made Whole Doctrine helps to limit subrogation during cases like the current PG&E claims.

Remember, The Deadline to File a Claim with PG&E is October 21

Before we let you go, we’d like to remind you that the deadline to file a claim with PG&E seeking damage for the Camp Fire and other California 2017 and 2018 wildfires is October 21, 2019. So, if you haven’t filed yet, do so here today.

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