How Will the Collateral Source Rule Affect My Case?
If My Care Is Covered While My Claim Is Pending, Will I Recover Less Money?
If you're not familiar with legalese (and hardly anyone is), the collateral source rule dictates what evidence is allowed in civil cases. In layman's terms, this is how it works: if you're making a case that someone owes you money, they are forbidden from using evidence that the money was paid (or will be paid) by a third party. For personal injury cases, this is usually how it usually plays out:
You were the victim of a defective medical device or drug, and you were severely injured. As a result, you sue the manufacturer for your medical expenses. Now, let's say that your healthcare costs were partially covered by Medicare or a private health insurer. Your opponent (the pharmaceutical company) might want to use your coverage to limit the size of your award. The collateral source rule makes that impossible.
In short, the collateral source rule helps you.
It makes sure that the defendant can't limit their liability just because your medical costs happened to be covered by someone else (either by insurance or from a loan). More importantly, it frees up our clients to seek immediate medical care without worrying about how it will limit their case. Thanks to the collateral source rule, defendants can't use your resourcefulness to shield themselves from responsibility.
That's why it's important to work with a law firm. Gaining legal assistance will help you understand what exactly your Medicare and Medicaid help is and how to get the most compensation possible after your injury. You need to have your medical expenses paid for—and you shouldn't have to wait until your pharmaceutical case is settled to get it. You shouldn't be penalized for reimbursement through private, state, or federal healthcare.
To talk about your case, options, and rights with an experienced professional, contact Arnold & Itkin. We're here to help, and we have the experience to make a difference.