Collateral Source Rule Applies to Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Insurance Payments—or Does It?

In a personal injury case, the collateral-source rule bars a tortfeasor, a defendant, from reducing his liability by the amount the plaintiff recovers from independent sources. It is a substantive rule of law, as well as an evidentiary rule (disallowing evidence of insurance or other collateral payments that may influence a fact finder). In its simplest form, the rule asks whether the tortfeasor contributed to, or was otherwise responsible for, a particular income source. If not, the income is considered independent of (or collateral to) the tortfeasor, and the tortfeasor may not reduce its damages by that amount. In practice, the rule allows plaintiffs to recover expenses they did not personally have to pay. Without the rule, however, a third-party income source would create a windfall for the tortfeasor. How Louisiana Has Handled the Collateral Source Rule in Respect to Workers’ Compensation Payments Two primary considerations guide a Louisiana court’s…

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