Last month there was a horrible bus crash in East Tennessee involving a school bus. The crashed and rolled with 39 students on board. This week the insurance company for the school system tendered a check for $700,000.00 into the court to be disbursed among the 39 students. This check is to cover all of the children’s damages including medical bills. According to reports, at least 18 children where admitted to the hospital. It is doubtful that the $700,000.00 will cover all of the medical bills.
So why $700,000.00? Why not at least pay all of the medical bills? The reason is the government has drafted laws that limit its liability no matter how significant the negligence or how much damages were incurred. Seems strange that an entity that has a budget that had a budget of $30.2 billion last year will limit the amount it will have to pay for medical bills. So how will this work for the families? Will the kids receive anything for their injuries? Maybe.
Currently under the law in Tennessee we have a provision called the made whole doctrine. This is very important in Tennessee Accident Cases. The reason is all health insurance contracts have a “subrogation” provision. This basically says that if your health insurance company pays your medical bills and someone else is responsible then you must pay the health insurance back from any money received. However, under Tennessee Law if you are not made whole by the injury settlement then you may not have to pay your health insurance back from the money you received. Accordingly, in this case if the children were fortunate to have health insurance pay their bills and there is not enough money to make them whole they may be able to keep some money from the injury settlement instead of it all going to the insurance company. This will likely be the biggest fight in the case. It always is when thee is not enough money to pay for the damages caused by someones negligence.
If you have a questions about a personal injury claim, feel free to contact one of our Tennessee Car Accident Lawyers today. We have personal injury lawyers in Nashville, Memphis and we handle cases across the state. We also have attorneys licensed in Kentucky and Georgia.