What Happens With Medical Bills While Waiting For A Settlement?

If you made mistakes as a teenager that could potentially hurt your career as an adult, learn from my family's experience on how to help with that situation.

What Happens With Medical Bills While Waiting For A Settlement?

18 March 2020
 Categories: Law, Blog

Folks who go to personal injury attorneys often have questions about what they're going to do in the meantime to pay their medical bills. One of the biggest factors that drive the acceptance of settlements is this fear, but most personal injury lawyers will tell their clients to be patient. Here's what you need to know about handling medical bills as you wait:

Paying Through Health Insurance

The simplest way to address this problem is to have all your medical bills sent to your health insurance carrier. They will pay the bills according to their usual schedule of costs. One big difference, though, is that they may assert a claim against your settlement to offset what they've spent paying for your care.

A big thing to remember is that you always have the right to demand a full accounting of what they paid. To be clear, this means you get to see the exact number of what your insurer paid, not what they say they paid. If they negotiated a lower price with the hospital, for example, the insurer cannot come after you for a higher number just because that's on their schedule of prices. Be aware, however, this can become a whole other legal battle on its own.

Arrangements with Providers

It's always worth informing the care providers that you're waiting for a claim to move forward. Avoid stating anything you can't 100% back up. For example, don't talk about a settlement if one hasn't been reached. Just tell them that you're pursuing a claim and that you wish to learn whether they can hold off on collection actions for your billings. They're under no obligation to humor you, but many doctors and organizations will go along with it because it beats not getting paid at all.

The Possibility of Medical Liens

Healthcare providers and insurance carriers do have the right to seek recovery of their costs. If they incurred costs providing reports for your case, they may also seek recovery of those expenses. The mechanism for recovery is a medical lien. A party will submit documentation to the court stating that they're owed money, then the court will order that that portion of a settlement or a judgment will be set aside to satisfy the lien.

You and your personal injury attorneys should document all medical bills during the process. This will help you to make sure you're not being double-billed or cheated out of your fair share.

About Me
teenage mistakes that could ruin adult careers

My son has had the goal of becoming an attorney since he was about 14 years old. Unfortunately, he made a very poor decision with a group of friends when he was 16 that put his future plans in jeopardy. When my son told me what had happened and we received the citation, I knew that we had to hire an attorney to help him through this. I could not see how a small incident such as this should hurt his chances for success when he is an adult. Thankfully, things worked out for us, but it was a long journey which you can follow on our blog.