Collateral Source Rule: Maximizing Recovery in Your CT Accident, Injury or Medical Malpractice Case

After you have been seriously injured in a CT accident or if you were the victim of medical malpractice how does the CT collateral source rule affect how much money you can recover?

Section 52-225a (a), is the statute in CT that sets forth the law relating to the calculation of collateral source reductions, and it ┬áprovides in relevant part that "[i]n any civil action, whether in tort or in contract, wherein the claimant seeks to recover damages resulting from (1) personal injury or wrongful death ... and wherein liability is admitted or is determined by the trier of fact and damages are awarded to compensate the claimant, the court shall reduce the amount of such award which represents economic damages ... by an amount equal to the total of amounts determined to have been paid under subsection (b) of this section less the total of amounts determined to have been paid under subsection (c) of this section ...." (Emphasis added.) Thus, under § 52-225a (a), calculation of the collateral source reduction is a two part process: (1) the total amount of collateral source benefits a claimant has received is determined in accordance with § 52-225a (b); and (2) that amount is then decreased, pursuant to § 52-225a (c), by the total amount that has been "paid, contributed, or forfeited ... by, or on behalf of, the claimant or members of his immediate family" to secure those benefits.

So one of the questions that arises is whether or not an injured party is able to deduct, pursuant to CT's collateral source statute, health insurance premiums paid for by a family member's employer. The answer to that question is a resounding: YES! The Connecticut Supreme Court has held that: The payments an employer makes to purchase health insurance for an employee are not gratuitous. Instead, those payments are made as part of the employee's compensation. Because an employer's premium payments are really indirect payments by the employee, the CT Supreme Court concluded that the legislature intended that § 52-225a (c) encompass premiums paid by a claimant's employer to purchase the claimant's health insurance coverage. Otherwise, the words "on behalf of" in § 52-225a (c) would have no meaning. See Hall v. Gilbert & Bennett Mfg. Co., 241 Conn. 282, 303, 695 A.2d 1051 (1997).

In other words, if the insurance adjuster is going to take the position that you are not entitled to receive credit for your medical bills because they were paid for by your insurance company and there is no right of recovery on the part of your insurance carrier to recoup those funds, then you are entitled to a credit for insurance premiums paid to obtain this coverage subject to certain limitations. So be forewarned that if you attempt to negotiate your own accident or injury claim then you could be settling for thousands of dollars less than you deserve.

So before you make a major mistake in the handling of your case call us today to speak to us about your CT accident, injury or medical malpractice case. Our consultations are FREE. We can help answer your questions and we can put you at ease so you know what you need to be doing. We will even send you our book, "The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut" for FREE. There is no obligation, so call us at (888) 244- 5480 today; even the call is FREE.