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The Collateral Source Rule in New Hampshire Personal Injury and Auto Accident Cases

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2013 | Medical Bills |

The New Hampshire superior courts have consistently applied what is known as the “collateral source rule” to claims for medical bills in negligence, personal injury, auto accident, slip and fall and dog bite cases.   What that means is that if you are injured through the fault of another, you and your lawyer are entitled to claim the full gross amount of medical bills as part of your damages in the case agains their insurance company.   This is true even if your health insurer, whether private or government, actually pays less than the full amount of the bill.  For example, if you have an MRI for $1,000, your health insurance will likely pay only $400 or so, with the rest being written off per the agreement between the health carrier and the hospital.  However, in your case against the negligent party, you can claim the full $1,000 as damages, and a jury will never be told that a lesser amount was actually paid.   This is a good rule because why should a negligent person and their insurance company benefit from the fact that you were wise enough to make sure you had health insurance to protect yourself and your family.   Insurance companies and their lawyers consistently challenge this rule, however the trial courts have consistently applied it, and the issue has yet to be squarely presented to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.