Colorado Accident & Injury Law Part VII: Collateral Source Issue & The Issue of Valuing Medical Bills
- This has been an issue of great importance to Plaintiffs’ counsel since the demise of the No-Fault Statute in 2003.
- Some District Court Judges had ruled that the Plaintiff was entitled to submit the amount of medical billings as the appropriate evidence, even if less had been actually paid by an insurer, while other Judges ruled that, if there had been payment by an insurer, the Plaintiff would be limited to submitting the amounts actually paid by that insurer.
- The issue was addressed in the Court of Appeals in the case of Tucker v. Volunteers of America Colorado Branch, decided November 26, 2008, No 07CA0844. The Court ruled that the appropriate measure of damages is the amount of the medical billing and not the amount paid by and insurer.
- The Tucker Court cited the statutory codification of the collateral source rule found at CRS 13-21-111.6. It stated that this issue was one of first impression in Colorado, ruling that “on balance, a tortfeasor ought not profit from a benefit made possible through the payment of the injured party’s insurance premium. It concluded that the “contract exception” of the above statute was broad enough to include the amounts disallowed pursuant to the agreement between plaintiff’s insurer and his health care providers.