January 3, 2014
When a person is injured as the result of an accident caused by another person’s negligence, the victim has a right to seek compensation for his or her damages. To help protect the right to receive fair compensation, the state established a law called the Tennessee Collateral Source Rule. However, tort reform may be putting this protective measure in danger.
An article from the Tennessee Bar Association states that the Collateral Source Rule “excludes from consideration benefits (such as medical payments) from a source independent of the tortfeasor when determining damages.” In other words, the law prevents payments from outside sources from being considered when determining the damages a victim should receive from a party responsible for their loss.
Take the example of a person injured in a car accident with medical bills and lost wages amounting to $100,000. If the insurer settles with the hospital for $50,000, the victim’s right to receive the full $100,000 in damages through civil litigation is protected by law, rather than he or she receiving $50,000 since the insurance company paid the other half.
While the law is fair, some are calling for the law to be changed or abolished all together. The Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers with Michael D. Ponce & Associates oppose such a move and encourage citizens to contact their state cong representatives to take a stance against such actions.