A new law takes effect in Colorado on August 11, 2010 – a law that has a big impact on personal injury cases and settlement amounts. The law affects three areas:
- Collateral source rule. This says that the fact or amount of any collateral source payment (such as from a plaintiff’s medical insurance) shall not be admitted as evidence in an action against a third-party tortfeasor. Discussion of the amount of medical bills must be based on the amount billed, not the amount paid.
- Made whole doctrine. This says that a state-regulated insurance plan has the right to subrogate only after the injured person has been made whole, which is defined as being fully compensated for all damages arising out of the law, which includes money and non-money damages.
- Common fund doctrine. This says that if there is a subrogation claim, the party asserting the subrogation right must pay its proportionate share of attorney’s fees and expenses.
Insurance companies have been fighting these changes for years, and because they’re complex it’s almost certain they will try to find ways around them. Which is all the more reason you need a smart, aggressive, compassionate attorney on your side. I’ve written two blogs recently with more detail about these topics. You can find them on our website at www.dlslawfirm.com/legalnews-resources.
If you, a loved one or a friend have been injured, give us a call at (303) 758-4777. No matter how big or small you may think your case is, someone in The Law Offices of Dianne Sawaya will talk with you, 24/7 – and it won’t cost you anything.