If you have been injured in a car accident, you are probably tired of hearing people tell you how lucky you are. Yes, you are lucky to be alive; yes, your injuries could have been worse; and, yes, you are lucky to have health insurance, but you are still injured. The purpose of health insurance is to protect policyholders from disastrous financial losses resulting from serious illness or injury, but even with the best health insurance, healthcare is still expensive. If you are injured, especially if your injuries are so serious that you cannot work, then even if your health insurance covers a large portion of your medical expenses, it does not make up for the financial losses you have sustained from your accidental injury. A Rhode Island car accident lawyer can help you bring a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused your accident, even if you have health insurance.
What Matters in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
When you file a personal injury lawsuit for a car accident, you are trying to persuade the court of the following things:
- It was the defendant’s duty not to endanger you
- The defendant breached that duty by causing an accident
- Your injuries are the result of that accident
- Your financial losses and physical and emotional suffering are a result of those injuries
- Therefore, it is fair and appropriate for the defendant to pay for what you have lost, in the form of economic (medical bills and lost income) and non-economic damages (monetary compensation for pain and suffering).
The Collateral Source Rule
Note that it is not your duty to demonstrate to the court that you have no other source of financial support. The collateral source rule states that evidence relating to other money the plaintiff has received for his or her medical bills and lost income are not admissible in court. In other words, it is none of the judge’s business whether your health insurance has covered some of your treatment expenses, short-term disability insurance has covered some of your lost income, or workers’ compensation has been a source of financial support in the case of a work injury.
What is important in a personal injury case is that the defendant is responsible for your injuries and should compensate you for them, not whether you have any other financial resources. Lawyers might counsel you against filing a personal injury lawsuit if the defendant doesn’t have the money to compensate you for your losses, but not simply because you have other ways of paying your medical bills. To put it bluntly, low-income individuals make bad defendants in personal injury lawsuits, but rich people do not necessarily make bad plaintiffs.
Contact Dana and Dana About Car Accident Cases
A personal injury lawyer can help you recover compensation in a car accident injury lawsuit, even if you have health insurance. Contact Dana and Dana, a personal injury law firm in Providence, Rhode Island, to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.
Mark Dana has been practicing in Rhode Island for over 25 years. He has handled hundreds of cases in courthouses throughout the state. Due to Attorney Dana’s knowledge and reputation, he can often be seen appearing as the legal commentator for NBC 10 in Providence.