In a personal injury case. After settlement how long does it take to negotiate medical bills

Asked about 1 year ago - Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Believe it ir not, my attorney sent a demand to the insurance company for the full value if the policy and they agreed!! So, we have settled. Now my attorneys paralegal is negotiating my medical bills. How long can this take. Better yet do they have a certain time to do this in. At first she was all excited.cause we settled. Now when I call to check on the status of the negotiations, she tells me she hasn't even pulled my file yet. Do they get their cut right off the bat or do they have to wait for the medical bills to be settled too. Just seems like the breaks have been applied. I was thinking that they have all ready got paid so now there is no real hurry on their end anymore

Attorney answers (9)

  1. Don Paul Harvey

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I think the best person to address this question is your attorney. Why don't you call and request a telephone conference with him or her to discuss? In general terms, the attorney does not get paid until a Closing Statement is signed by the client breaking down the money as to fees/costs/LOPs/Liens/Medicals paid, and net to client. Some providers are easier and quicker to deal with than others.

  2. Peter Scott Van Keuren

    Contributor Level 12

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is no set time frame for the negotiation of the bills and a lot depends on the medical providers themselves. Like any negotiation, there may be a a bit of back and forth until an agreement is reached. in many cases the client also was covered by health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. These health insurance plans are also entitled to repayment for the amounts they paid for related medical treatment and they usually have a lien on the settlement proceeds. Dealing with Medicare alone often requires many months to conclude negotiations and it is unlikely they will even respond to a letter in less than 90 days.

    In addition, if you are receiving Medicare assistance, there might be issues relating to the protection of Medicare's interests with respect to the payment of future medical bills related to the incident.

    Without knowing the specific facts of your case it is impossible to provide more detail; however, your attorney will be able to answer these questions for you.

  3. Nick Jay Dorsten

    Contributor Level 19

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Speak with your attorney but your lawyer will not get paid until you sign off on the settlement papers AND closing statement.
    Good luck,

  4. Rachelle Renee Bocksch

    Contributor Level 7

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Negotiating the medical bills can take a couple months or longer depending on how much of a reduction you are asking for. For example, if you are asking the doctors to accept 30% of their bill, then this may take longer to get approved as often times medical facilities have managers or other individuals who must sign off on such a signifcant reduction. Some medical providers will not agree to accept the proposed reduction and will counter with a higher figure. Other times, the medical bills have been sold to collection agencies and it is difficult to find who actually even holds the bill. Regardless, your attorney cannot take any fees on your case until you have signed the Closing Statement. So, unless you have signed a Closing Statement (which would be highly unusual considering your medical bills have not been reduced yet), your attorney has not received any money yet either. Just keep calling the office to check on the status. This should help keep your file on the top of the stack. Good Luck!

    This information is for general purposes only and should not be construed as giving legal advice, or as... more
  5. Ryan Philip Rudd

    Pro

    Contributor Level 6

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Definitely speak with your attorney directly. That being said there is no set time for reductions to be completed and your attorney should not be taking any fee on the settlement until you have signed off on the closing statement or final accounting.

  6. Josh P Tolin

    Contributor Level 19

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your attorney will have a better idea than any of us who don't know how many providers there are, whether medicare or medicaid involved, and other factors. Medicare can take a long time. Your attorney obviously got you policy limits which is as good as it gets, so just be patient and let her negotiate the bills for you. That gets you more money in the long run.

  7. David John Zappitell

    Pro

    Contributor Level 4

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should really address these questions to your attorney, I'm sure she will be happy to answer them for you. Negotiating medical bills and liens can take time depending if health insurance or Medicare paid some bills. There may be other issues like approval from the underinsured motorist carrier or negotiating a medical payments coverage lien. I would keep on top of your lawyer!!

  8. Ty EG Hinnant

    Contributor Level 7

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would discuss your concerns with your attorney. Common practice is that we get paid when you get paid. The settlement funds should remain in trust until all medical providers are paid and you receive your settlement proceeds. In regards to time, each case is different. Negotiating medical bills can be complex and time-consuming. Talk to your attorney.

  9. Mitzi Sommer Carr

    Contributor Level 1

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Although there is no set timeframe in which to negotiate medical bills, before we take a cut out of the settlement for our fees and costs, it is our firm's practice to negotiate and finalize the amounts that each provider and/or insurer is claiming out of the settlement. As soon as we receive written confirmation that an insurer accepted our demand and agrees to settle for a certain amount, we begin contacting the providers/insurers to negotiate the monies they are owed. I suggest sending your attorney an email and asking for a written summary of the medical bills that your attorney has negotiated and request a written status of the settlement. I wish you the best.

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