June 27th, 2014|
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.
January 3rd, 2014|
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.