Could Having Health Insurance Actually Hurt You in a Personal Injury Case?
The California Supreme Court recently held in a case called Howell v. Hamilton Meats (known commonly by lawyers as “the Howell decision”) that the victim of a personal injury accident can only recover the amount ACTUALLY PAID for medical treatment related to the accident. This means that if you have a hospital bill for $20,000 (the reasonable value of the medical services received), but your health insurance only had to pay $10,000 for that care, you are only entitled to recover $10,000.00 from the insurance company of party that injured you.
In this same example, someone WITHOUT health insurance would recover $20,000for the hospital bill. The Howell Case basically allows the 3rd party insurance carrier to benefit from health insurance that you or your employer have paid thousands of dollars for over the years!
On February 24, 2012, Senator Darrell Steinberg introduced Senate Bill 1528 which seeks to establish that injured persons are entitled to recover the reasonable value of medical services provided without regard to the amount actually paid. This bill is nothing new, as it essentially seeks to restore the law to what it was before the Howell decision. However, the insurance industry is so powerful that it is questionable that Senate Bill 1528 will pass. If it did, it would be a victory for personal injury victims as well as people who pay for health insurance.
If you have any questions about a particular personal injury case, please submit your case for review by the experienced personal injury team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We are top-ranked personal injury attorneys with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Jose.
This video and accompanying text is not intended to be a source of legal advice for any purpose. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. The information in this video and text does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your case.