Understanding the Collateral Source Rule in Florida

The Collateral Source Rule in Florida helps determine the value of an injured victim’s compensation for past and future medical bills. It’s intended to ensure that victims receive their rightful compensation for medical expenses, regardless of their benefits or insurance coverage. However, for individuals with Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance coverage, the Collateral Source Rule can be difficult to understand without the assistance of a trusted attorney

Keep reading to learn more about Florida’s Collateral Source Rule and what it may mean for your personal injury case in the Sunshine State. 

What is Florida’s Collateral Source Rule?

Prior to March 24, 2023, Florida’s Collateral Source Rule secured rightful compensation for an injured victim’s damages, even if they’ve already received payments from a third party (like an insurance company, Social Security, or employee benefits). This rule protected victims from being unjustly penalized for having various benefits. In other words, if a plaintiff (the victim) successfully proves liability for an injury, they should receive their full compensation for past and future medical expenses. 

With the Collateral Source Rule, juries in Florida were not allowed to review evidence of collateral sources when determining a verdict. In Florida court, privately insured plaintiffs in Florida were consistently able to enter all of their past medical bills into evidence without adjusting for discounts or reductions from insurance. 

However, after the Florida legislature passed HB 837 and it was signed by Florida’s Governor on March 24, 2023 under the guise of “tort reform”, Florida’s collateral source rule has been dramatically changed. There are many questions as to how the new laws will be implemented, it is a complicated issue with arguments that are still to be heard in the appellate courts, but generally the new Florida laws allow for the introduction of health insurance payments for past medical expenses and a list of other evidence that can be introduced into evidence to show the reasonable rate of future medical expenses. The goal is to lower the overall judgment amounts for injured plaintiffs by lowering the amount of medical expense evidence introduced to juries.    

The Collateral Source Rule and recent Florida laws regarding the rule are very complicated and vary from case to case, often depending on if you have private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare. If you or a loved one recently sustained injuries at the fault of another, one of the experienced attorneys at Weldon & Rothman, PL, can help you reap your rightful compensation. Contact us today for a free case evaluation!