I received a summons yesterday 10/20/10, regarding a collection agency suing me for 8,041.74, plus court fees, attorney fees and interest.
This balance stems from a car accident that happened in May of 2009, in which I had to be extricated from my car and transported to the nearest hospital which was Valley Medical Center (where the balance originated from).
At the time that I was admitted to the ER, I was unemployed and a fulltime student and applied for Charity Care since I couldn't afford the bill, but never heard anything back.
I'm not sure what to do now. I'm worried about garnishment since I'm still a student and I don't have the money for an attorney.
You MUST at least "appear" to avoid them obtaining a default judgment against you. If you cannot afford a lawyer, at least send a letter to the lawyer representing Valley Medical and say that your representing yourself. Send that certified mail, return receipt requested. And also send a copy to the court clerk and ask that it be filed in the court record. Be sure to indicate the case name and case number.
You should also call the lawyer for Valley and see if there is any chance of working something out. And, look further into the Charity Care program that you referred to.