Indiana’s Collateral Source Statute bars over-recovery for medical bills
Under Indiana law, the driver who is at fault for the injuries of another has a duty to pay for the injured party’s “reasonable” and “necessary” medical bills. But what is considered “reasonable and necessary?”
One method of proving reasonability is by introducing into evidence, the statement of charges for injuries received as a result of the accident from the health care provider. Indiana Evidence Rule 413 provides that such statements are admissible as evidence and “shall constitute prima facie evidence that the charges are reasonable.”
Indiana’s Collateral Source Statute prevents the Plaintiff from over-recovery—or recovering more than once—for a monetary loss sustained from personal injury or wrongful death.
IC 34-44-1 provides for allowing into evidence the following:
- Proof of collateral source payments (i.e. medical payments made by health insurance providers or workers compensation for the benefit of the plaintiff)
- Proof of the amount of money that the plaintiff is required to repay
- Proof of the cost to the plaintiff or to members of the plaintiff’s family of collateral benefits received by the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s family
Exceptions to the collateral source rule include: life insurance or other death benefits, insurance benefits or premiums plaintiff or plaintiff’s family have paid for directly, or payments made by any agency, instrumentality, or subdivision of the state or the United States, i.e. defendant may not lessen their financial obligation for damages by introducing into evidence Plaintiff’s medical billing discounts or discounts provided to plaintiff as a benefit to the insured by the contract established between their health insurance carrier and their health provider. Americanbar.org states the following:
Indiana retains the common law principle that collateral source payments should not reduce a damage award if the payment resulted from the plaintiff’s own forethought, such as insurance purchased by the plaintiff or government benefits that the plaintiff has paid for through taxes.
Ward & Ward is a plaintiff’s law firm experienced in protecting the interests of personal injury victims and wrongful death claims. If you have been injured in an automobile, motorcycle, bicycle or trucking accident, I urge you to call me at 317-639-9501 for a free consultation at your earliest convenience.