Settlement Question About Medical Bills
Because of me being a victim of a drunk driving accident I will be kicked out of my place because of rent and lack of work ( I can't make the money I used to). I never speak to my lawyer just his PA. Any help here? I have nowhere to go.
8 attorney answers
The attorney handling a PI file often finds himself in the preacrious position of a quasi bill collector for various medical providers. Alot of clients in your predicament want their counsel to not pay any bills, and tell the attorney "Give me the bills, and I will pay them" In fact, a client does have that right, with the exception of Hospital liens, Medicare and Medicaid bills. If the attorney does not satisfy the aforementioned bills, said counsel will personally be responsible to pay those bills out of his own pocket. Now on to your question- How long does it take to get all those bills etc . When I handle a file, I always collect all the client's bills well in advance of mediation or trial so that I can give the client a clear picture of what he/she will receive out of the proposed Ins offer. Obviously, if an Ins Co makes an offer and the client asks how much he will receive from the check, if all the bills, liens and attorney costs have not been researched and added up, counsel can not answer that question. Good luck
It's very common to be upset at your lawyer after your personal injury lawsuit is filed, due to such a long time passing between the time the lawsuit commences and any settlement or trial. In most states, the other party's insurance company owes you no duty to settle quickly. Your case can be settled before trial, or consequently drag on long after the trial is over. The insurance company knows you're in a hurry to settle your case, and uses this fact to try to get you to settle for less. Here's a partial list of some of the things that can happen to slow down your case: Discovery This is the insurance company's opportunity to "discover" everything about you and the accident. You'll get lots of written questions to answer under oath. You'll have to produce documents and medical records, plus admit or deny specific written statements put to you.
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Being a personal injury lawyer, I am aware that delays can be frustrating for everyone. Since I am paid on a contingency fee, I only get paid when my client signs the settlement check. Therefore, I have no motivation to delay or withhold getting a client in to sign the check. I presume your lawyer is contracted similarly. There are some insurance companies that, simply put, just move faster than others. I have had claims where I settle on a Monday and have a check on Wednesday. I have had others that I settle and have to wait weeks. On the medical bill issue, I agree with the sentiment of others that there is no reason not to seek a reduction, your lawyer can probably give you your portion while holding the medical bills in trust as he/she negotiates and then sends you the savings. As with others, communication is key, your lawyer just might be doing everything right but may be a victim of a slow paying insurance company. Good luck.
I would strongly recommend speaking with your attorney about this to weigh the pros and cons of this decision. You have the right to speak directly with your lawyer and should demand to do so prior to make any decision that will directly impact you financially.
Best bet is to get the bills negotiated down....why give away money?
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I agree with the advice my colleagues provided.
-Michael R. Juarez Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216 San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.jslaw.org [email protected] This posting is provided for “information purposes” only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice." Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principles discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different jurisdictions.
You need to talk with your lawyer face to face and express your concerns. Trying to negotiate on your medical bills will not slow down your payment and can put additional money in your pocket because the full amount of the medical bills could be help in trust.
After signing the release it has to be returned to the defense attorney, who in turn sends it to his client. The adjuster then has to request a settlement check, which has to be processed and then mailed to defense counsel. Defense counsel then has to mail it to your attorney. As you can see this process does not occur overnight.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
Set up a meeting with your lawyer and review your questions and concerns with him/her.
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