New York Personal Injury: Basic Concepts

What is the collateral source rule and how does it affect my personal injury case in New York?

New York is a state that does not abide by the recovery allowed under the collateral source rule. The collateral source rule in New York states that when you are injured and bringing forth a personal injury claim, a defense attorney opposing your case can bring forth evidence of payments by your insurance company or personal health plan (collateral source) for your medical bills or expenses, in order to alter or lessen the amount you may be awarded. Therefore, New York allows such evidence to be presented in order for the plaintiff to receive what may be owed lessened by the amount that has already been paid by a collateral source.

Under New York law, can I include medical bills in my injury claim?

Yes. Your medical bills are a significant factor when assessing how much you are awarded if your claim is successful. Your medical bills are a reflection of your “pain and suffering” which is directly related to how much compensation you should be owed. (Please refer to “What is my personal injury worth in New York?” for details regarding what your case may be worth) In New York a plaintiff may recover for past, present, and future injury medical expenses in a personal injury claim but only if those expenses are or were directly related to the injury the claim is being brought forth for.

New York also maintains that compensation and money awarded must be reasonable. More specifically it must be proven that the injuries were caused by the cause of action you are claiming and any other injuries or health related matters must be separated when presenting evidence and seeking compensation for injury. Medical expenses would include but may not be limited to hospital bills, medications, at home nursing or private care, medical tests and prescriptions. Care provided by a family member or spouse usually does not account as a medical expense .After you have been injured and are considering bringing forth a claim it is important that you keep record of all medical bills you have paid or that you owe in order to be justly compensated.

My child was injured in New York, can I bring a personal injury claim on their behalf?

Yes, parents of a minor child who has been injured may bring forth a claim on their behalf. Child injuries can occur in many ways, and if your child has been injured at daycare, bitten by a dog, injured by a toy, or in a motor vehicle accident, you may be able to recover for their injuries and suffering. Similar to an adult personal injury matter, children are owed compensation for a liable party’s fault that has caused them injury. Considering their age and inability, a parent is able to bring forth a matter on their behalf in order to be sure they are able to receive representation and compensation as well.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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