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Insurance & Plaintiff Medical Bills

I served jury duty in a car accident case where the injured plaintiff sought repayment for her medical bills. In deliberation, many jury members said that her insurance company had probably paid her medical bills, not her. Was this correct?

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A: Not likely. Florida law, like that of many states, does not allow evidence to be admitted to the jury regarding the issue of whether or not an injured party’s medical bills have been paid by insurance. Since this information is inadmissible evidence in court, the jury never hears it and is tempted to speculate.

You should not do this if you find yourself on a jury in an injury case. In the event a plaintiff settles or wins a personal injury lawsuit, they are more likely than not required to pay their insurance company back for any money the insurance company initially paid to cover their medical expenses. That doesn’t sound like insurance at all, but most insurance companies today include that in their contracts.

A legal colleague of mine tells the story of a jury that compensated an injured plaintiff for 20 percent of her medical bills on the assumption that her insurance had covered 80 percent of them. Most insurance does cover 80 percent of your medical bills, but remember most insurance also requires you to pay that back. So in the end, this injured plaintiff did not even recover enough money to pay her insurance company back and got nothing.

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