An Offer to Pay Your Medical Bills After an Accident Is Not Admissible in Indiana?
Oct. 25, 2016
Northwest Indiana personal injury lawyer explains why an Indiana jury will never learn that the defendant or insurance company offer to pay medical expenses after an injury.
The story is pretty common. A person is seriously injured in a Northwest Indiana car or truck accident and has a significant amount of medical bills. The defendant or her insurance company makes an offer to pay the medical expenses and nothing else or settlement negotiations break down. A lawsuit to be filed and the case is going to trial.
As I'm preparing my client for her testimony she asks me if she can testify that the defendant offered to pay her medical expenses. She figures that if jury hears this testimony, it will believe that the defendant is responsible for her injuries. I tell my client, I'm sorry but we cannot do that because the rules do not allow for that testimony. Indiana Rule of Evidence 409 states:
Evidence of paying or furnishing, or offering or promising to pay medical, hospital, or similar expenses occasioned by an injury, or damage to property is not admissible to prove liability for such injury or damages.
Why Does the Law Have This Rule?
Because in theory, the law does not want to punish the good Samaritan that decides to take the high road whether, at fault or not, and offer to pay for the injured person's car or medical expenses. This rule sounds good in theory but the truth is insurance companies not defendants make the payment decisions in Northwest Indiana personal injury cases.
If you have any questions about getting your medical bills paid after being injured in a Northwest Indiana accident, call our Michigan City personal injury lawyers.