Yes. After a lien has been satisfied, the health care provider can still seek to recover monies owed directly from his or her patient. Most often, attorneys will seek to negotiate a settlement with the provider to prevent this from happening, other times, when the amounts at issue are large, a bankruptcy is the best option. You should discuss this issue with your attorney and or seek independent counsel from a bankruptcy attorney if that is appropriate.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. DISCLAIMER: This information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Scott W. Edwards Attorney at Law Schauermann Thayer Jacobs & Staples 1700 E. Fourth Plain Blvd. Vancouver, WA 98661 PHONE: (360) 695-4244 FAX: (360) 696-0583 E-MAIL: ScottE@stjs.com
Generally a lien is addl security for a debt. Your financial agreement is a contract. If it said you only owe if you collect enough from your case, no problem. Usually they say that you owe the money, but the doctor has agreed to wait for payment. While the lien provides a maximum to come from the settlement, it doesnt mean the doctor loses the balance. Ask you atty to try to negotiate a reduction or payment plan. Consider speaking to a BK atty if your financial/debt situation is bad. Talk to your current atty, as he should be able to explain your obligation to the creditor and the lien issues.
Scott and Robert have provided excellent answers here. They are correct about how RCW 60.44.010 operates in a settlement situation. Typically, attorneys will try to get the provider to negotiate the lien amount once a settlement is contemplated. If the provider won't do that, bankruptcy may be your only option or negotiating a resolution directly with the provider's office. Good luck.
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what the amount settled for depends on several factors. these are handled by your attorney. if you dont have one, you may need to retain one to assist. many times, if the bills and injuries are especially high, the attorney is important to net you compensation by getting waivers, etc.
If the patient signed an agreement to pay for those services, then anything else would be a breach of the contract which entitled the health care provider to go after the patient. Based that that breach, the doctor can seek a judgment against the patient which would then harm the patient's credit. It is better to come to some sort of arrangement with the doctor's office, rather than be in breach. Nonetheless, the clinic may not want to negotiate based on the written agreement, but it never hurts to ask to see if there is balance owing can be reduced.
Yes I agree, but it is always a good idea to have your attorney attempt to negotiate the bills down. Sometime you can get the bills down below the 25%.
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