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Collateral Source Rule

Collateral Source Rule - Law 101

Hello, I'm attorney Kyle Bachus. The legal world is full of overly complicated jargon and terminology that can be intimidating if you don't know what it means. In my law 101 video series, I'm breaking down some commonly used legal terms so you can be informed and confident should you ever need to take legal action.

In this episode of law 101, we're going to break down the phrase in a legal context, the phrase collateral source rule.

What does this mean? And how does it impact a civil case involving negligence? Collateral source rule, the word collateral just means somebody other than the person who caused the injury. So this is a rule about what happens if you receive money or benefits from some source other than the person who actually caused the injury. And can you recover that same expense again from the person who caused the injury? So let's put this into some context.

Let's say that you have health insurance, let's say you were injured by somebody else, all right. And you want to bring a claim against the person who caused the injury. But let's say your health insurance paid for your medical treatment, so they are a collateral source. The collateral source rule says that if you receive money or benefits from somebody other than the person who caused the injury, that does not absolve the person who caused the injury from being obligated under the law to pay you your full measure of damages.

Some people look at the collateral source rule and say, well, aren't you double recovering your losses? Well, the legal principle behind this rests with the idea that the person who caused the injury is primarily responsible, and should not be let off the hook because you happen to be smart enough to go out and buy your Aflac insurance or buy your health insurance.

You paid a premium for those benefits, and if somebody should get a windfall, it should be the person who was injured and was smart enough to cover themselves separately, rather than the person who caused the injury. If you have questions in your situation and what your rights are, we're happy to talk to you about that personally at Bachus & Schanker. To learn more about other law topics that can help you feel informed and confident about the law, make sure to check out more videos in this series.

Check Out More Videos In Our Law 101 Series

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