Reasonableness of Medical Expenses
It is a general rule that the foundation to establish the reliability of medical expenses is to provide evidence of reasonableness and necessity.
See Hansen v. Mountain Fuel Supply Co., 858 P.2d 970, 981 (Utah 1993) (noting that requirement for compensation in tort action is that expenses be reasonable and necessary) (citing Charles J. McCormick, Handbook on the Law of Damages 90, at 323-27 (1935);
Simmons v. Wilkin, 80 Utah 362, 366, 15 P.2d 321, 323 (1932) (holding that special damages must be shown to be reasonable and necessarily resulting from accident).
Therefore, once injuries have been shown, evidence is required to show that the medical expenses accurately reflect the necessary treatment that resulted from the injuries and that the charges are reasonable.
reasonableness of medical expenses cases:
Larsen v. Decker, 196 Ariz. 239, 995 P.2d 281, 286 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2000) (holding that trial court did not abuse its discretion when it found that no foundation had established bills were caused by and were reasonable and necessary results of accident);
McAllister v. George, 73 Cal. App. 3d 258, 140 Cal. Rptr. 702, 706 (Ct. App. 1977) (ruling that to recover damages for tort, plaintiff must prove dental charges were reasonable and required as result of tort);
Lawson v. Safeway, Inc., 878 P.2d 127, 131 (Colo. Ct. App. 1994) (noting that correct measure of compensable damages for medical expenses is necessary and reasonable value of services rendered);
Garrett v. Morris Kirschman & Co., 336 So. 2d 566, 571 (Fla. 1976) (holding that jury should decide whether plaintiff's testimony proved reasonable and necessary medical expenses);
Zack's Props., Inc. v. Gafford, 241 Ga. App. 43, 526 S.E.2d 80, 82 (Ga. Ct. App. 1999) (holding that statute does not alleviate plaintiff's burden to provide additional evidence that medical bills were reasonable and necessary);
Smith v. Syd's, Inc., 598 N.E.2d 1065, 1066 (Ind. 1992) (holding that medical expenses must be proven to be both reasonable and necessary);
Shpigel v. White, 357 Md. 117, 741 A.2d 1205, 1210 (Md. 1999) (holding that statute provides medical bill is admissible to prove amount, fairness, and reasonableness of charges);
Phelps v. MacIntyre, 397 Mass. 459, 491 N.E.2d 1067, 1069 (Mass. 1986) (holding that statute provides medical bills are admissible as evidence of necessary, fair, and reasonable charges);
Schaeffer v. Craden, 800 S.W.2d 165, 166 (Mo. Ct. App. 1990) (holding that recovery for medical expenses incurred as result of accident depends on proof of necessity and reasonableness);
Chamberlain v. Thames, 131 N.C. App. 705, 509 S.E.2d 443, 450 (N.C. Ct. App. 1998) (holding that statute establishes rebuttable presumption of reasonableness of charges but necessity must still be proven);
Coleman v. Erie Thriftway Supermarket, Inc., 29 Phila. 120, 1995 Phila. (affirming admission of bills where physician testified as to reasonableness and necessity);
Martinez v. Kurdziel, 612 A.2d 669, 676 (R.I. 1992) (holding that statute does not remove plaintiff's burden of proving causation and reasonableness);
Castillo v. Am. Garment Finishers Corp., 965 S.W.2d 646, 654 (Tex. Ct. App. 1998) (holding that statute allows admissibility of evidence by affidavit to prove reasonableness and necessity of medical expenses);
Forcier v. Grand Union Stores, Inc., 128 Vt. 389, 264 A.2d 796, 801 (Vt. 1970) (holding that court properly admitted bills physician testified were reasonable and reasonably necessarily incurred);
McMunn v. Tatum, 237 Va. 558, 379 S.E.2d 908, 914 (Va. 1989) (holding that medical bills offered through plaintiff's testimony alone may require more if rebuttable presumption of reasonableness and necessity is challenged);
Kennedy v. Monroe, 15 Wn. App. 39, 547 P.2d 899, 906 (Wash. Ct. App. 1976) (upholding physician's competence to testify as to reasonableness and necessity of medical services);
Milwaukee County v. Long, 1994 Wisc. (per curiam) (holding that statute does not eliminate plaintiff's burden to prove reasonableness and necessity of past medical expenses);
Arnold Mach. Co. v. Intrusion Prepakt, Inc., 11 Utah 2d 246, 248, 357 P.2d 496, 497 (1960) (holding that jury has responsibility to determine whether repair bills represent necessary and reasonable expenses).