The best ways for accident victims or their families to be compensated for damages is by filing a claim against the responsible parties. But this process could change if lawmakers pass a new bill during the next legislative session.
The Collateral Source Rule prevents a defendant from introducing evidence that shows an injured victim received payments for damages from another source—such as an insurance company—to try to reduce the amount in damages owed to the victim. However, lawmakers in Tennessee are considering a bill that would all but nullify this rule.
SB 1184—otherwise known as the Phantom Damages Elimination Act—states a plaintiff can only seek economic damages for:
- The amount of money that was actually paid by or on behalf of the victim.
- The amount necessary to cover unpaid medical bills.
- The amount need to pay future medical costs associated with the injury.
Keep in mind these amounts must have any payments that were awarded from insurance policies deducted from the total that can be sought in damages.
These changes could potentially cost accident victims in Tennessee millions of dollars that are necessary to their recoveries.
The bill was put on hold last year, but the Tennessee General Assembly has sent the bill to be reviewed by a committee before it is discussed further during the next legislative session later this year.
The Nashville personal injury lawyers at Ponce Law encourage you to support the Collateral Source Rule by contacting your local Congressman and demanding that they stand up for justice for all.