Can You Help Clients Negotiate Medical Bills In A Personal Injury Case?
Yes, this is a service we provide. Things can become very difficult, which is why we try to find out at the very beginning what the insurance amount is and if the client has health insurance, so we can let the client know they need to be careful because there is only a certain amount of insurance. It does become very complicated, and I have had cases where the person knew there was hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills because of a very serious crash, but there was only $10,000 in the policy or $50,000 or maybe even $100,000 which would obviously not be able to cover the medical bills. If the client had health insurance, we will make sure all the providers are aware of that health insurance from the very beginning.
There is a certain time period during which the health care providers would have to file with the insurance company, because if they do not do that then the health insurance would not have to pay it either. We try to get the bills paid as we go along and we try not to have them outstanding any more than we have to, although it may still end up that the medical bills are more than the actual settlement. I recently had a case where this happened. We called the individual providers and tired to negotiate with them and explain to them that there were very low limits and there was only a certain amount available there. We try to get everybody compensated for the services they provided, and for the most part the providers are very receptive to that. They understand that it is what it is and they can continue to bill but they would not be able to get any money from it, which is why they often try to negotiate with us.
The last resort would be to do a motion for equitable distribution. If you get to the point where the medical provider is not willing to negotiate with the person before going to the motion hearing, then they will probably not be willing to negotiate at the motion hearing either. The judge will then make the determination of how that settlement would be dispersed. The judge would often say that if it is a $100,000 settlement, then they would take the attorney fees and costs off of there and then 50% of that would go to the providers split pro-rata, depending on what their medical bills were, and 50% of that would go to the client. This would not release the client from owing those medical bills, which is actually a popular misconception. Even if the judge allowed us to disperse the funds, meaning the hospital bill was for $100,000 but the funds would only cover $20,000 of that $100,000 hospital bill, the hospital would still have the right to pursue their patient for the remaining balance. This is something we are generally successful in doing, but there would be no way to give someone a 100% guarantee that would happen. For more information on Medical Care In Personal Injury Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (813) 873-0180 today.