What is the Collateral Source Rule?
Illinois law allows injury victims to recover the full amount of all reasonable and necessary medical bills caused by an accident. However, when health insurance is involved, the amount of a medical bill is often drastically different than the amount health insurance pays to its providers. For instance, an MRI might cost $3,000, but health insurance might only pay $1,000 to resolve the charge. What happens when a defendant tries to introduce evidence of the amount that was paid for the bill as opposed to the amount stated on the actual bill itself? The collateral source rule bars any such attempt to unfairly limit an injury victim’s right to recovery.
The collateral source rule is a part of Illinois law. The rule prevents a defendant in an injury case from presenting evidence that an injury victim received compensation or benefits from a source other than the defendant, such as health insurance, workers compensation, the government or otherwise. The collateral source rule is not concerned with how much “other” compensation an injury victim received or whether medical bills were paid in full or only in part. Rather, defendants are prohibited from introducing evidence regarding “other” compensation, calling witnesses to testify about how much was paid or introducing bank or other records showing these payments.
Even with the protections of the collateral source rule, injury victims must still remain vigilant in pursuing full recovery for medical expenses. Defendants (and the insurance companies controlling them) can still question whether medical bills are reasonable or necessary. Insurance companies employ a cottage industry of quasi-medical billing experts, whose sole purposes are to fraudulently deflate the value of legitimate medical bills in injury lawsuits. These so-called experts can be called to testify that medical expenses are above the reasonable value of similar services and treatments.
The attorneys at Feagans Law Group P.C. are experienced in protecting the rights of injury victims and in utilizing the collateral source rule to maximize our clients’ recoveries. We also know how to attack illegitimate attempts to distort reasonable medical charges. If you have been in an accident, please consider allowing the attorneys at Feagans Law Group to Guide Your Path to Justice!