Lawyers who practice personal injury and accident law in Maryland and across the United States are often surprised to learn that the United States has a right to recover from third parties the reasonable value of medical care and pay that has been furnished or will be furnished in the future to accident victims. See Army Regulation 27-20
42 U.S.C. §§ 2651-53
In any case where the United States is authorized or required to pay for hospital, medical, surgical, or dental care and treatment under circumstances creating tort liability on a third person, the United States has an independent right to recover from the third person, or his insurer, the reasonable value of care and treatment furnished. The United States has a right to be subrogated to any claim that the injured person has against a third person to the extent of the reasonable care and treatment furnished. The United States may also require that the injured party assign his claim or cause of action against the third person to the extent of that right or claim.
If state law provides an alternative system of compensation or reimbursement for expenses of hospital, medical, surgical, or dental care or treatment under a policy of insurance, contract, medical, or hospital service agreement, or similar agreement, the United States is a third party beneficiary. The United States shall be subrogated to any right or claim the injured person has under the policy, contract, agreement, or arrangement to the extent of the reasonable value of care and treatment.
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