When you win a personal injury court case, you rightfully expect a payout.
But for a variety of reasons, you may not often receive as much money
as you expected. One of the most obscure of these reasons is called the
Collateral Sources of Indemnity law, or CSoI.
The Simplified Legalese Version
In any trial in which damages are awarded, the court will reduce the amount
of the reward by the total of all amounts which have already been paid
for the benefit of the claimant.
When you win a court case in which the court says that someone has to
pay you because they wronged you somehow, the amount that they have to
pay you is reduced by the amounts that anyone else has already paid you
for the same event.
Let's say you get injured at a mall and a jury decides that the mall
owes you $200,000. But you had medical insurance that paid out $40,000
for your surgery and income disability insurance that made up for $6000
in lost wages. Those are considered Collateral Sources, and so your initial
$200,000 award is reduced by $46,000 to a net award of $154,000.
If your lawyer is contracted to be paid a percentage of your reward, the
percentage is calculated as a percentage of the net reward after collateral
sources have been removed.
The purpose of the CSoI law is to prevent a defendant from profiting from
an accident. The reason we have personal injury cases is to establish
that the victim of an accident has been paid an appropriate amount of
money — and if they've already been paid a portion of that appropriate
amount by external (collateral) sources, it would be
unjust for them to also receive the full amount they were due from just the defendant.
The personal injury attorneys of Florida Injury Law Firm want you to understand
everything about your case before you get to court. In many personal injury
cases, the Collateral Sources of Indemnity law plays a fairly large role
in determining the final payout. If you know what to expect, you'll
be able to more accurately plan for the results.