​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 traffic accident 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.

Accident Client

“Last March, my partner was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street. During this difficult time of healing, we knew that bills were going to pile up and his was going to be a long process. After looking at multiple law firms, we knew that Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers was going to be the best place to work with. Lauren and her team were patient, supportive and caring during his difficult time. His schedule was always busy with work and doctor appointments that his main source of communication was through email. Lauren and her team made it to where he didn’t have to worry about anything but just sending over the paper work he got from the hospital, and other bill collectors involving his incident and they worried about the rest.

Because of all their help my partner Aaron, was able to heal with less worries on his shoulders. By end of December, everything was settled and we were pleased with the results. I’d like to give a huge thank you to Lauren & the Sally Morin team. If you’re looking for a law firm for your incident, I’d definitely look at this law firm.”

We're here to help with your Personal Injury claim

Check out our Personal Injury FAQ Page to learn more about how the process works.

We Handle Your Personal Injury Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including pedestrian and car accidents that involve speeding. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of San Jose and all of California. Contact us today for a
free online case evaluation.


It is essential to know your rights after a traffic accident so you can protect yourself and the value of your claim.
This guide will help you:

  • 1Know what to do when dealing with insurance claims, police reports and lawyers.
  • 2Avoid making mistakes that undermine the value of your claim
  • 3Put yourself in a position to get the best settlement possible