New Orleans accident victims usually do not rely solely on the outcome of a personal injury case to pay expenses arising from their injuries. Other individuals or organizations often pay expenses that are also being claimed in the personal injury lawsuit. These other parties are called collateral sources. Examples include a health insurer, an employer who continues to pay lost wages, or even a family member who pays medical bills.
The basic rule in Louisiana is that amounts received from collateral sources do not reduce the victim’s recovery in a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if the victim’s employer continues to pay wages, the victim may still pursue lost wages in the lawsuit. There are, however, exceptions to this rule based on the specific facts surrounding a payment. These exceptions include whether the plaintiff provided some consideration, such as an enrollment fee, for the benefit. Collateral source benefits for which the victim paid no consideration may not be recoverable.
Also, in some cases, an insurer who paid collateral source benefits, not the injured person, may be the proper plaintiff to pursue reimbursement from the defendant.
Payments made by a collateral source are not admissible as evidence in the victim’s personal injury lawsuit. As a result, a defendant cannot argue to a jury that the damages awarded to a victim should be reduced because some of the victim’s expenses from the injury have already been paid.
If you have been injured and have any questions regarding how collateral source payments may impact a personal injury lawsuit, please feel free to call our office at 504-581-6411 or 877-581-6411. We would be happy to help you.