i'm suing for a dog bite, medicare paid the medical bills, and my lawyer now says their reimbursement money comes off the top of the settlement check? is this a normal practice?
If Medicare paid your medial bills, your lawyer is required to pay them back from the settlement the "conditional payments" utilizing Medicare's reimbursement formula. If Medicare is not paid back they can come after the lawyer and you for those payments along with potential interest and penalties.
I suggest you carefully read the fee agreement you signed for your lawyer at the beginning of the case. That should tell you what will come "off the top". But as a side note, Medicare must be repaid by law if you receive monies from a claim like this.
Sometimes the homeowner's insurance has something we call "med pay" or premises medical coverage of an amount between $1000-$5000. When I am handling a dog bite case I try to get the adjuster to use the med pay coverage to take care of at least part of the liens and bills if possible because the insurance company will pay it fairly quickly once they have the bills. It is a good way to get rid of at least part of the lien or to cover bills for people who have no other insurance to cover their care. I just did this in a case I recently settled to obtain reimbursement for the bite victim's co-pays which were about $1500. It is not on every insurance policy though and if you don't ask, the company may not tell you about it. Before you sign anything, ask your lawyer if there was med pay as it may cover part of the medicare lien.
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