The Collateral Source Rule is a legal principle that has significant implications for personal injury cases in various jurisdictions, including Arizona. If a person has suffered harm or loss due to another’s actions, this rule serves to determine how compensation can be handled. Simply put, the rule prevents the jury from seeing information that may lead to the injured party not receiving all of the compensation to which they may be entitled.
Collateral Source Rule Definition
At its core, the Collateral Source Rule upholds the idea that a defendant should be held responsible for the full extent of harm they have caused, regardless of any compensation the plaintiff may receive from secondary sources. Secondary sources may include medical insurance, government assistance, benefits from government programs, or even charitable organizations. The rule’s intention is to ensure that defendants still have to pay whatever amount is considered required in their case regardless of the amount of money the injured party may or may not receive from secondary sources.
Collateral Source Rule in Arizona
The Collateral Source Rule is a big deal in Arizona when it comes to personal injury cases. It’s essentially a rulebook that courts follow to make sure that people who get hurt aren’t unfairly punished for being responsible and having things like insurance to help them. This is especially important in cases where things like medical bills and lost pay are a big part of what’s being considered in the case. If a person’s health insurance or government help pays for their medical bills, the person who caused the harm can’t argue to pay less money because of that help.
Exceptions to Collateral Source Rule
The Collateral Source Rule isn’t always set in stone in Arizona. There are some special situations and tricky details that can change how it’s used.
One example is the “Griffith” rule, which came from a case called Griffith v. Byers Construction Co. This rule says that if the money a person gets from somewhere else is because they paid for something, like insurance, the person who caused the harm can show the jury how much they paid for that. This lets the person who caused the harm say that the injured person shouldn’t get paid twice for the same thing – once from insurance and then again from them. This clause especially applies to medical negligence cases, but it is always dependent upon the individual case, its lawyers, and the jury.
Arizona Personal Injury Lawyers
While the Collateral Source Rule is a big player in Arizona’s personal injury cases, it is difficult to navigate at times and requires the skill of experienced attorneys. At Grabb & Durando, our team knows how to navigate the Collateral Source Rule and other imperatives during a personal injury, negligence, or medical negligence case. We will work for you to get the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Team Today
To discuss your personal injury case with our attorneys, please reach out to us today for a free case review. We proudly serve clients in Tucson and the surrounding Arizona areas.