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New Statutory Changes Affect Personal Injury Claims

Edward Alan Williams Attorney at Law April 1, 2023

This past session, the Missouri legislature passed a number of bills that will affect personal injury claims.

SB 31 amended R.S.Mo. 490.715 to change the way courts view payments made by other parties, otherwise known as collateral sources. Of note is that, beginning August 28, 2017, if a defendant or his or her insurer or authorized representative pays any part of a plaintiff's special damages (i.e. medical bills), then any portion of a plaintiff's claim that was paid by the defendant, or the defendant's insurer, are not recoverable to the plaintiff. Another change that may limit recover to the plaintiff is that courts will only look at the actual cost of medical care provided to the plaintiff. For instance, if a plaintiff is charged $10,000 for a trip to the hospital to treat injuries sustained in an accident, and those charges are reduced by contractual write-offs between the provider and the plaintiff or his or her insurance company, then only that part of the bill that is actually paid by the plaintiff or his or her insurance company is recoverable. This change basically does away with the rebuttable presumption rule afforded to plaintiffs.

Another statutory change affects the way settlement demands are submitted to defendants. HB 339 now requires that plaintiffs afford a defendant or his or her insurer or authorized representative up to 90 days to review and respond to a demand. Another change requires plaintiffs to list names and addresses of employers at the time plaintiff was injured. This requirement would only apply if a plaintiff is claiming lost wages.

It will remain to be seen how these changes will affect your personal injury claim. But, we will continue to work hard to make sure you are adequately compensated for your injuries and will hold those who caused your injuries responsible for their actions.