Billed Vs. Paid: Rule of Evidence 414 And What It Means To You
In October of 2011, the N.C. legislature instituted a drastic change to the way our civil legal system operates. With the passing of Rule of Evidence 414, attorneys for injured people could no longer introduce what was charged by medical providers; they could only introduce what was paid or what was necessary to pay an outstanding medical bill.
Rule 414 says that “evidence offered to prove past medical expenses shall be limited to evidence of the amounts actually paid to satisfy the bills that have been satisfied – and evidence of the amounts actually necessary to satisfy the bills that have been incurred but not yet satisfied”.
How does this affect you? Rule 414 coupled with the requirement that injured people attempt to mitigate their damages means that those individuals with health insurance are not forced to use their health insurance or have their recoveries reduced by what their health insurance would have paid to satisfy the bills. Insurance companies have taken a hard line approach and are requiring injured people to submit all of their bills to their health insurance, whether the injured person wished to or not. Injured people no longer get to choose whether to submit a bill to their health insurance, they are not forced to do so thanks to Rule 414.
If you have been injured as the result of the negligence of another, it is very important for you to contact an attorney to protect your rights.