Are Full Medical Costs Admissible at Trial?

One highly contested issue in personal injury cases is the dispute as to whether the full amount of medical costs should be admissible at trial. Often times the victim has private medical insurance, and as a result, there are reductions to the medical bill.

Because of these potential reductions, the defendant often argues that the jury should not be given the true or total amount of the plaintiff’s medical bills, thereby trying to reduce or minimize the effect of the plaintiff’s damages before the jury.

A recent appellate decision from the Fifth District Court of Appeals addressed this issue. In the case of Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Darragh, So.3d 37 FLW D1355a (Fla. 5th DCA June 8, 2012) the 5th District Court of Appeal held that the gross amount of the plaintiff’s medical bills are admissible at trial when the plaintiff had private health insurance. This opinion joined other appellate district holdings which confirmed that any health insurance reductions are to be treated as a collateral set-off to be made by the judge post-trial.