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I refused an ambulance that I never called. Now there is a GIANT bill. I need some legal advice or assistance.

Oakland, CA |

I fainted; hit my head. I was with my partner. We did NOT call for an ambulance. I believe it was SFPD (oddly SFPD officers were nearby for something else). I was sound and sober throughout, as was my partner. I am an uninsured freelancer waiting for ACA coverage. Told this to the paramedics MULTIPLE times. They (King American) coaxed me into their vehicle against my will; took BP, blood sugar. Then insisted on transporting me to a private hospital, whose bill I have yet to receive. I said NO multiple times, pointing to my reliable partner, who agreed to take me to an ER. I explained that my partner would take me; I could not pay an ambulance bill. The medics (liars) insisted they take me as a homeless Jane Doe and promised NO bill. Now: $2200+ bill for 2-mile ride that I tried refusing.

Attorney Answers 6

  1. In all probability, you have the option of applying for cancellation of the bill or a reduction if you do not have the financial resources to pay it. Information should be contained on the statement you received. If services were rendered to you, you may be responsible for the charges. Deal with the bill as I have mentioned. The fact you did not call for the ambulance is immaterial. Good luck.

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  2. Have a local lawyer negotiate down the bill

  3. Hopefully you can negotiate a reduction.

  4. I would refuse to pay it. Send the company a letter explaining your refusal of service, that your reliable partner was present, available to drive you, and a witness to what transpired. If they sue (most unlikely) be sure to bring your partner as a witness.

  5. Medical bills can usually be negotiated. That said... should one pass out and fall and hit his or her noggin, a properly trained medical professional will recognize this as potentially life threatening - one, because people should not just pass out and two because head trauma is a serious injury. The person who faints, falls, and hits head should be evaluated by an emergency physician for, among other things, confused thoughts and mental status changes. The liability for transporting someone to the hospital when not really needed is substantially less than not transporting when the condition warranted it. I'd take the case of someone refused ER transport for an obvious and serious injury but pass for someone transported in the name of extreme caution.

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    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
    Attorney at Law, Physician

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  6. The SFPD did what they are supposed to do by calling the ambulance. Regardless of whether King American should or should not have transported you, be aware that they are a very aggressive company and will take you to small claims court if you are unable to work something out with them.

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