In Wisconsin, car accident medical bills may include all accident related medical, hospital, and related expenses. The accident settlement should include all past medical bills incurred from the date of the injury to the date of the settlement and any future medical bills that will be incurred after the date of settlement. Any past or future medical bills must be reasonably and necessarily incurred as a result of the car accident or automobile collision. Leitinger v. DBart, Inc., 2007 WI 84, ¶ 51, 302 Wis. 2d 110.
Generally, the injured person has the burden of proof to prove the reasonableness and necessity of medical bills with expert, doctor, testimony. However, in 2009 the Wisconsin Legislature created section 908.03(6m)(bm), which states that billing statements or invoices that are patient health care records are presumed to state the reasonable value of the health care services provided and the health care services provided are presumed to be reasonable and necessary to the care of the patient.
The other driver’s insurance company cannot rebut the presumption of the reasonable value of the health care services with evidence of payments made or benefits conferred by collateral sources like health insurance or government Medicare or Medicaid payments. A defendant insurance company may rebut the presumption in section 908.03(6m)(bm) through expert testimony, saying that the bills are not reasonable or the treatment is not necessary for the injuries.
Even with the presumptions in Sec. 908.03(6m)(bm), the injured driver or passenger must still prove that the other driver’s conduct caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In cases not involving a permanent injury or future medical bills, it is probably not necessary that the plaintiff call a doctor to testify the treatment was for injuries caused by the accident. It would certainly be more persuasive to have a doctor say so, but it may not be cost effective given what doctor’s charge to testify.
Medical bills include charges by medical doctors, osteopaths, podiatrists, chiropractors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and consultants whose services are requested by treating physicians. Medical bills also include charges for hospitalization, nursing care, diagnostic tests, medications, therapy, medical appliances, domestic help, and transportation to and from health-care providers.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin McCormick Law Office attorneys present car accident medical bills evidence through certified medical bills and records, but also when appropriate with doctor reports and testimony. If a case settles, the inclusion of medical bills is a matter of negotiation. Medical bills may be included in a settlement and the doctor bill balances may be paid in full or partially out of the settlement funds. Outstanding balances may have to be made if subject to a doctor or hospital lien. Believe in better, make the right call.