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What to know about Rule 414 before filing a personal injury claim

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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All types of situations can leave someone injured or ill, including dog bite incidents, motor vehicle accidents, product malfunctions and dangerous premises issues. While many individuals suffer only minor injuries in such situations, others may be catastrophic, leaving victims with very little prospect of returning to life as they once knew it.

A serious injury can bring about unexpected expenses to include medical bills or lost wages. You may incur non-economic damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress and losses of consortium, companionship and enjoyment of life.

Many personal injury victims often ask whether there are limits on how much they can recover following an accident. North Carolina Civil Procedure Rule 414, which went into effect in 2011, limits what someone can recover.

What does Rule 414 say, and how does it impact you?

This 2011 rule only allows victims of a personal injury incident to recover compensation for medical bills that equals what insurance paid. Individuals used to qualify for the fair market value of these health care services instead.

Many insurances have contracts with medical care facilities to bill at lower rates. The passing of rule 414 would entitle you to whatever that amount is versus the full market value. Most insurance companies have a right of subrogation, meaning they could recover the entirety of any settlement that you may receive in your personal injury case.

There’s another complication that arises from the passing of Rule 414. This has to do with your recovery of non-economic damages. Plaintiffs generally take a multiple of any medical costs and use that amount when demanding non-economic damages. If the amount of medical bills is reduced, then this may leave you unlikely to receive as much in non-economic damages as you might have expected.

Rule 414 complicates the recovery of compensation following a personal injury accident. This is why how you craft your argument for damages matters. This may make all the difference as to whether you end up with anything to cover future issues that may creep up and whether you receive any compensation for all you’ve had to go through because of this unexpected accident.