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If I bring a lawsuit can I recover my medical expenses that I paid for my medical care?

 

A: The answer is yes. Often times an injured victim has to pay money out of their own pocket to get medical care. Sometimes, their health insurance company pays only part of the medical bill, and the patient is responsible for the remainder. In malpractice cases, we often claim that you are entitled to be repaid for money that you spent out of your own pocket because of a doctor or hospital's wrongdoing. In a car accident case, your own car insurance company will pay your medical expenses up to a certain dollar limit. If your bills exceed that amount your health insurance company and/or you will be responsible for the remainder. There is a law in New York called the collateral source rule, and basically it says that you cannot recover twice for your medical expenses. This means that if your health insurance company paid for all of your medical expenses, and a jury awards you money for those medical expenses, (even though you didn't pay out of your own pocket), the Court will ultimately reduce your award to reflect the fact that you did not actually incur those medical expenses. In other words, you can't benefit from the fact that the insurance company paid your medical bills. Interestingly, your health insurance company can intervene in your lawsuit and say "Hey! Remember me? We paid for your medical bills, and now we'd like to be repaid, since you're getting compensated for your injuries." This is called a right of subrogation by the health insurance company.