768.76 the following information is about collateral sources of indemnity for the state of Florida only:
(1) The number of damages that are awarded shall be reduced by the total of all amount that has been paid to the plaintiff or is available to them, from all collateral sources, in any lawsuit where liability has been determined or admitted by the tired of fact and that the claimant is being awarded for their losses; yet, if a reimbursement or subrogation right exists, there shall be no reduction. The amount that is paid, contributed, or forfeited by the claimant or on their behalf, will secure their right to receiving any collateral source benefits, and would be offset by the reduction amount.
(2) This section serves the following purposes:
(a) Any payments that are made on behalf of the plaintiff or to the plaintiff are known as “collateral sources”, in regard to:
- Except for Title XVIII and Title XIX of the Social Security Act and those prohibited by the federal law and omitted as collateral sources, any state, federal, or local income disability act; or any other program that provides public medical expenses, payments for disabled people, or similar benefits.
- Any insurance for sickness, health, or income disability, insurance for vehicle crashes, which provides coverage for income disability or health benefits; and any other benefit that is similar, except for the plaintiff’s life insurance benefits, regardless of it being purchased by the plaintiff or on their behalf.
- Any organization, partnership, group, or corporation that provides an agreement or contract to offer to reimburse, or pay for any dental, medical, hospital, or other services involving health care.
- Employers or any other organization made to provide payments during the time of disability providing any voluntary or contractual wage continuation plan.
(b)The following should not be considered as collateral sources, for the purpose of this section; benefits received through federal programs or Medicare, Worker’s Compensation Law, Medical program Title 19 of the Social Security Act or any other program that is governed by the Department of Health that provides medical services which provide Federal Government lien from the plaintiff’s recovery right of repayment.
(3) The percentage will be based upon the reduction of the collateral sources amount and the increasing of the insurance premiums if the fees for legal services depend on a percentage of the amount awarded to the plaintiff.
(4) A right to subrogation and repayment will be given to the defendant that provided the plaintiff with collateral sources and abided by this section from the plaintiff who received all or part of the collateral sources that were provided. The amount that can be reimbursed is limited to a number of collateral sources that were provided by the defendant, minus the plaintiff’s pro rata share of costs and attorney’s fees that were obtained by trying to recover the collateral sources from the defendant. A deduction of the percentage of judgment or settlement amount recoverable shall be used to determine the amount of pro rata share of costs and attorney’s fees.
(5) If the actual number of collateral sources is being debated upon by the defendant and claimant, a court of competent jurisdiction will have to determine the amount that shall be paid. The determination of the actual amount by the court shall be based upon any mitigating factors, any presence of comparative negligence, and liability coverage limitations that are deemed appropriate to be used as an offset for settlement or judgment that was made.
(6) Certified mail or registered mail should be the means where the notice to claim damages by the plaintiff is sent to the defendant that will be providing the collateral sources. A copy of any complaint that is filed during the time that the plaintiff sends out the notice, should be sent with the notice. A statement within the notice must specify how the defendant waives their rights to be reimbursed or to have the right to subrogate unless the assertion of payments of benefits and the rights to be subrogated and repayment has been made by the defendant within 30 days of receiving the notice.
(7) The defendant must provide within 30 days after receiving the notice by the plaintiff on their intention to claim for damages, the assertion of the payments of benefits and the right to be repaid and subrogated to the plaintiff’s attorney or the plaintiff. If within the 30-day period, the statement is not provided by the defendant to the plaintiff’s attorney or the plaintiff about their rights to be repaid for any collateral sources, then their rights shall be waived. If the rights to be subrogated and repaid have been waived, the provider of the collateral sources will no longer have any rights to be subrogated or reimbursed pursuant to this section.
(8) The reimbursement of collateral sources given to the provider of such sources will satisfy their rights to be subrogated or reimbursed. If the collateral payments are made after the date of the waiver, settlement, or judgment, no right of reimbursement or subrogation shall be given to the provider, in accordance with this section.
(9) Compliance to produce the information to the plaintiff that is needed for them to prove the nature and extent of the value of the collateral sources shall be performed by the provider of a collateral source claiming the right to be reimbursed or subrogated. If the defendant providing the collateral sources does not comply with providing such information, the right to be reimbursed and how much they will be reimbursed will be considered by the court.