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How Jury Trials Affect Medical Bill Payment in Personal Injury Claims

FREE CASE EVALUATION

Burnetti, P.A. represents people who are injured due to another’s fault. This process starts by meeting the client and discussing the incident that caused the injuries, medical treatment and how the claim will proceed.  Jury trials are part of that discussion.

A civil jury trial involves presenting evidence to six people chosen to decide your case. The jurors hear testimony from experts such as doctors and non-experts such as witnesses to an accident.

We, as attorneys, also present documentary evidence, such as income tax returns to prove lost wages and medical bills to prove the cost of related treatment. A current issue that appears to rear its head in most trials is whether the total amount of medical bills may be entered into evidence when the total amount of the medical charges are not paid.

Currently, law exists (through previous cases decided) that allows the full amount to be presented in some instances and only that portion of the bill paid in others. Defense attorneys argue that when health insurance only pays a percentage of a bill, that is all the jury should see. Fortunately for our clients, at least one appeals court has ruled that the full amount of medical bills may be introduced into evidence when a private health insurer pays the medical bills. The defendant still receives the benefit of the write-offs by the medical provider; however, the court does this after the jury renders a gross verdict. Based upon the current state of the law, this should be the ruling by all trial judges and certainly the attorneys at Burnetti, P.A. will continue to advocate for this holding in front of every judge.

It should be noted that non-private health insurers, such as Medicare, receive different treatment by the courts. In those cases, only the amount paid may be placed in front of the jury. This is a longstanding rule of law based upon prior decisions.

If you have more questions about how jury trials affect the payment of medical bills in personal injury claims or any other issues regarding a personal injury claim, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-888-BURNETTI. We would be happy to discuss it with you.

Jeff Diamond, Burnetti, P.A.

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