Jan. 20, 2016
Injury Related Expenses: How Your Injury Attorney Can Help You Get the Medical Treatment you Need and Postpone Medical Bill Collection Until You Receive Money
A good personal injury attorney will help make sure you get the medical treatment you need while holding off the medical bill collectors until you recover from the person who hurt you. Here is how.
First, it must be determined whether you have completed medical treatment or if further treatment is necessary. If further treatment is necessary your attorney should refer you to the appropriate medical specialist to either diagnose ongoing issues or receive treatment of already diagnosed issues. In making the referral, the attorney should communicate with the medical provider to reassure payment for the necessary medical treatment. There are various ways this can be accomplished such as providing the medical provider with a written lien against the money to be received from the medical claim. A skilled attorney can negotiate with a medical provider to obtain the medical treatment you need even if you do not have the financial resources or insurance to pay for the treatment immediately.
Second, all related medical expenses must be identified. This requires you to make a complete disclosure of all medical treatment providers, including prescription providers. With that information, your attorney can request a complete itemization of medical bills that have been paid and those that have not been paid from each medical provider.
If medical expenses have been paid by your auto insurance, health insurance or some other third party (other than the person who hurt you or his/her insured), then the paying party likely will have a right to be reimbursed. This right to reimbursement is generally referred to as a subrogation right or subrogation claim. Be aware that if you are paid by the responsible party and the subrogation claims are not satisfied, you and possibly your attorney could become liable for these claims. A good injury attorney will negotiate these claims down for you and make sure they are paid, thereby saving you money and eliminating any concern that a subrogation claimant could come after you for payment later.
Third, after identifying all medical expenses and their status as paid or not paid, the unpaid expenses must be addressed or they will become negative marks on your credit and ultimately end up in collections. Such collection efforts could ultimately lead to the filing of a lawsuit against you for payment of the debt. A quality personal injury attorney will initiate communication with unpaid medical creditors and let them know a source of payment is likely once your personal injury claim is processed to completion. This type of communication with medical creditors often leads to the medical creditors putting the medical bills that are past due on a hold. Although not always the case, many times this will prevent negative credit reporting and almost always stop the creditor from pursuing its claim against you in the form of a lawsuit.
Finally, once you receive funds from the person who hurt you, a quality injury attorney will negotiate a payoff of your subrogation claims and medical creditor claims. This effort by your attorney will result, in most cases, in payment of less than the total amount of the original subrogation claim and original medical creditor claim. The net result is more money in your pocket.
A quality personal injury attorney will minimize or eliminate the stress and anxiety that comes with not having the resources to pay for medical expenses caused by an injury while maximizing the net amount of money you actually receive. It pays to hire a QUALITY personal injury attorney.
For more information on Accident Collection Protection during the pendency of a personal injury claim or litigation, contact Ron Shepherd of Shep Law Group.
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