An accident victim who suffers injuries due to someone else’s negligence is entitled to recover full compensation for all injury-related costs and expenses from all possible sources. When there is more than one source, New York and other states apply a “collateral source rule.” It effectively coordinates the injured party’s compensation so that they don’t receive multiple payments for the same damages. Understanding how this rule will affect an accident victim’s damages is often the key to recovering maximum payment in a personal injury lawsuit.      

At Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, we combine our extensive knowledge of the state’s collateral source rule to recover the largest available damages awards for our clients. We accomplish this by establishing the total value of the client’s economic and non-economic damages and fighting for the full compensation owed to an accident victim from every payment source.

Does the collateral source rule limit the total amount that an accident victim can recover?

The collateral source rule does not limit payment of the total amount of damages but only prevents the victim from receiving duplicate payments from different parties. For example, the victim incurs medical bills in the total amount of $100,000, and their health insurance reimburses that full amount. In that case, they cannot recover that same $100,000 reimbursement from a negligent party’s liability insurance carrier.

If multiple sources are available to reimburse a victim’s losses and expenses, why should they hire a lawyer?

Damages are rarely limited to medical bills. They also include wages that the victim did not earn while recuperating, the costs and expenses for rehabilitation and occupational therapy, the dollar value of pain and suffering, and the burden placed on the victim’s family and any resulting injuries. A New York personal injury lawyer will ensure that all economic and non-economic losses are considered in calculating a final damages award. They will also pursue the payment sources that are responsible for reimbursing those losses.

How is the collateral source rule applied in a personal injury lawsuit?

When a jury finds in favor of an accident victim and orders a negligent party to pay damages, that party has the burden of showing with reasonable certainty that a collateral source is available to pay a portion of it. If the negligent party presents this proof, the jury’s award is reduced by the amount of the collateral source recovery. This is a simple calculation when payments have already been made, or bills and invoices have been issued. However, it is more complicated when an accident victim may continue to receive reimbursements from collateral sources for future anticipated costs and expenses. The victim’s personal injury attorney will verify that all their future costs and expenses are considered in all damages calculations. 

Contact Us to Recover the Damages You Are Entitled to Recover from All Collateral Sources

At Kantrowitz, Goldhamer, & Graifman, we have more than 45 years of experience recovering the most money for our injured clients from all liability insurers and other payors. We do not rest until we are confident that we have received the full amount of damages from every possible source. 

Please see our website or call us as soon as you can after suffering injuries in a car crash, a slip and fall incident, or any other accident caused by someone else’s negligence in Rockland County or elsewhere in New York. We will apply the New York collateral source rule to your benefit. Finally, we will not let a negligent party escape its obligations to pay you compensation if collateral sources are not paying your damages.