The Made Whole Doctrine: California Making Insured Residents “Made Whole” Again After Accidents

made whole doctrine california

The Made Whole Doctrine: California Making Insured Residents "Made Whole" Again After Accidents

You may have never heard of The Made Whole Doctrine, but if you have been injured in an accident, California is making insured residents whole again after accidents.


Being injured in an accident often leaves victims financially, emotionally, and physically burdened. Victims are forced to deal with their insurance companies in order to recover from their injuries. Many states including California have enacted a “Made Whole” doctrine that aims to protect injured insurers after accidents.

So, what exactly is the Made Whole Doctrine?

The Made Whole Doctrine aims to make insurance companies keep insurers “made whole” after accidents and injuries. The doctrine essentially protects subrogation when it would cause a party to not be “made whole” if an insurance company were to take any proceeds of a jury award or settlement.


In other words, an injured person must be fully compensated for their injuries before their insurance company can claim any portion of their settlement as coverage reimbursement.

When does the Made Whole Doctrine apply?

When a party has been injured and damages have occurred through either personal or property damage, the injured party can sue those liable. After the initial injury, the injured party will likely have their insurance company pay their medical bills and other expenses related to the injury. If the person is held liable, the injured party and the insurance company will be waiting to be compensated.


When the liable party and their funds of money isn’t large enough for both the insurance company and the injured party to get compensated, the Made Whole Doctrine steps in. The Made Whole Doctrine will come in and make sure that the insurance company doesn’t take money away from what the victim is owed.

Is there a loophole around the Made Whole Doctrine?

Along with many other states, California allows language within contracts to override the doctrine. This means that insurance companies can include a clause that allows the company to take money from any recovery the insured party receives.


The loophole around the Made Whole Doctrine will likely be contained the contract signed that was required at the time of obtaining coverage and will read something along the lines of, “Insurance company is entitled to all rights of recovery that the insured person to whom payment was made has against another.”


In some cases, an attorney can still challenge language within insurance contracts. An attorney can help you use the Made Whole Doctrine in the appropriate way that applies to your case.


The Made Whole Doctrine applies to many personal injury cases as they come to their final stages of determining and distributing damages. There are many more nuances pertaining to the Made Whole Doctrine and injury lawsuits in general. Reach out to an experienced attorney at Hariri Law Group to discuss the details of your case and find a resolution for your claims.

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