Finally, some good news. You don’t always have to pay the total amount of your medical bills if you’re the victim involved in a personal injury claim.
Your personal injury attorney can often reduce your mounting medical bills after your injury verdict or settlement is final.
Below, we’ve put together some information better explaining “How much can lawyers reduce medical bills?” and the likely hood of doing so.
With this information, you’ll better understand if hiring a personal injury lawyer to negotiate a reduction in your medical expenses will allow you to put more money into your pocket.
Related Search: San Antonio Personal Injury Attorney
How am I supposed to pay my medical bills after a crash?
After you have been in a serious car accident, medical treatment is an absolutely essential – it will help you to identify and treat potentially life-threatening injuries, reduce the time that it takes to heal, and link your conditions to the accident.
However, this can become really expensive, and even if you do have health insurance, you will still need to pay your medical expenses.
Thankfully, you are able to consolidate both your past and future medical bills in your personal injury claim. This means that your attorney will help you to compile all of your medical syndromes, as well as estimating all of your future medical needs.
Using this number, your attorney starts settlement negotiations (or even at trial), working to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Typically, doctors, hospitals, healthcare providers, and even your insurance company will file liens, which are legal documents that assert an interest in your personal injury claim. Before you are able to settle or close your claim, you will have to address these unpaid bills and settle with your providers.
Your Insurance Might Not Fully Cover Your Medical Bills
Under Texan law, typically it is the negligent or at-fault party are responsible for their victims’ injuries (such as head wounds) or losses (such as a written off car). Unfortunately, lots of people and businesses don’t have enough liability insurance to cover catastrophic or multi-party claims.
And even worse, the Insurance Information Institute estimated that 14% of vehicle owning Texans do not have auto insurance.
This can have an impact on you – if you have been involved in an accident and are dealing with an uninsured or under insured motorist (which are respectively abbreviated to UM/UIM), you will most typically have to file additional claims with your own UM/UIM and personal injury protection (PIP) policies.
However, if you only have minimum coverage, or have opted out of these policies at some point in the past, you might still have some unpaid medical bills.
In this situation, having a personal injury lawyer on your side can be incredibly useful – medical providers might be willing to accept a reduced amount to settle the unpaid bill, and a lawyer will be able to negotiate a fair and reasonable amount.
Furthermore, even if you are at an in-network hospital, specific services, physicians and surgeons who do care for you might be considered out of network on your health insurance plan.
You might have even been in too bad of a condition or unconscious after an accident, so you couldn’t choose which hospital you would go to, and services or pharmaceuticals that you receive.
Overall, the healthcare system is set up to discourage realistic price shopping, as well as up front negotiation. To get the best deal from your health care provider, you will need a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who has negotiated hospital bills down before, for similar cases to yours.
How To Negotiate A Medical Bill
After a verdict or settlement amount has been reached on your case, a dedicated and experienced attorney will attempt to negotiate reductions on your unpaid medical bills.
However, negotiations don’t simply boil down to just asking nicely. Rather, your experienced attorney will use their in depth set of medical and legal knowledge to:
- Contact your medical providers and insurance companies
- Review their bill statements, usually on the HCFA-1500 and UB-04 forms
- Confirm that the ills are related to your crash and conditions that originated in the accident, and double check all of the billing codes.
- Work with government systems like Medicare and Medicaid to protect their interests, in compliance with both state and federal law.
- When possible, negotiate reductions to your medical bills, so you have to pay less.
Whilst most healthcare providers do want full payment for all of their services and bills, but they aren’t unreasonable.
A good injury lawyer may be able to negotiate a significant monetary reduction on your bills, on your behalf, using their unique expertise, experience, knowledge and perspective, of your case.
Negotiation helps both the client and the hospital, because lowering the healthcare fee means that the hospital is more likely to get some compensation for their services.
If you are able to pay in cash, that can be a massive benefit too – hospitals are often willing to reduce bills so that they receive a full payment promptly in cash, rather than via long term payment plans.
What Is Subrogation?
Subrogation is the legal process where you are forced to reimburse your health insurance company with part of your settlement monies, if you make a successful personal injury claim. T
he role of this is to try to ensure that the injured party doesn’t make ‘double recovery’, which is where they profit from their earlier loss. So, if your insurance company pays for your medical expense, and then your personal injury claim settlement covers those same medical expense fees, you might be seen as to have profited off of your accident.
Hence, this is why your insurance company is entitled to be reimbursed. Your injury attorney can help to explain the process to you in greater legal detail.
So How Likely Is It That My Attorney Can Reduce My Medical Bills?
It is difficult to put an exact number on how likely that it is that your lawyer will be able to reduce your medical bills, as every case and client is different. However, some estimates say that an experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to reduce bills around 95% of the time.
How Much Can An Injury Lawyer Reduce My Medical Bills?
If you decide to have an experienced injury lawyer negotiate your medical bills after you have been injured in a collision or accident, you can expect that there will most likely be a change in the amount you are due to pay.
However, it is difficult to give you an accurate idea of the size of the change, without discussing the personal nuance and fact pattern of your specific case.
Our aim is to help you stay medical debt-free, and the intensive negotiation process can take a few months, as our attorneys research every fact of your case and every claim made by your healthcare providers.
In addition to negotiating your medical bills down, lawyers can help you deal with your insurance company, and file any lawsuits against an at-fault party,
If you have been injured, we suggest that you give our experienced team a call, so that they can help you assess any financial help you could be entitled to, or could help you file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
What Else Can Lawyers Do To Help Me After I Have Been Injured In An Accident?
Negotiating liens and reduced medical service bills aren’t the only benefits that having a personal injury attorney on your side, though. They provide other invaluable legal services that they perform if you have been injured.
They will be able to conduct a legal investigation about the incident where you were injured through consulting with the accident victim, which will help them identify any potentially liable parties, and help you determine any of the possible legal grounds to recover compensation for any damages caused from the involved parties.
During this investigation, your attorney might discover information by interviewing witnesses, gathering medical records, reviewing police reports, and consulting with experts to establish facts and liability in the case.
After this investigatory phase, the injury lawyer and victim together file a claim against the insurance company (if applicable), at which point, many personal injury claims are resolved successfully.
Your injury lawyer will be able to assess the potential value of your claim based off of the specific circumstances, and their previous case results with similar fact patterns.
The Texas insurance code requires insurance companies not to engage in Bad Faith practices when they are negotiating Insurance claims for personal injury suits.
However, insurance adjusters do represent the interests of their employers rather than that of their employers clients, meaning that they will try to deny or devalue as many claims as possible, therefore reducing the amount of money that their employer has to spend.
If a fair injury settlement can’t be successfully negotiated, then your attorney can pursue a few different legal avenues. They can go through formal litigation, which includes the following steps:
Filing a Complaint
This is the beginning of a lawsuit, where the injured victim files a complaint against the at-fault party in the appropriate court, and names the defendant.
Service of Pre-trial motions
The complaint has to be formally legally served to the defendant. This is done via a summons to appear for a court date.
Filing of Motions Pre-trial
The attorney that is representing the defendant can file motions before the official trial begins. These motions can have a multitude of functions – they might ask the court to rule on the admissibility of certain pieces of evidence, to order the other party to provide certain information, to grant summary judgement, or even to totally dismiss the case, if applicable.
The Official Trial
If the parties are not able to resolve the case in mediation or settlement discussions before the trial begins, then the two opposing parties will participate in the trial process.
This means that they will have to formally make arguments, either to a judge or jury, depending on the type of trial.
If there is a jury trial, then the first step of the trial is for both sides to participate in a voir dire process, where the respective sides lawyers will try to determine if any of the jurors would be biased, which would make them unable to render a fair verdict.
Once the jury has been selected, the trial will start.
To kick off the trial, each side begins with an opening statement. Then, witnesses are examined and cross-examined, and other evidence, such as documents, statements, and any forensics, is presented to the jury/judge.
At the conclusion of the trial, the judge or jury will render a verdict. If the case is ruled in the plaintiff’s favor (i.e., the victim), then the judge or jury will calculate the damages, based on their specific circumstances (such as the cost of medical bills, the losses made, and the cost for future treatment of the same conditions).
Enforcement of Judgement
After the court has made a decision has been made about the settlement monies has been made, if the defendant/the insurance company does not provide the compensation awarded, the plaintiff and their legal team might have to take additional steps to ensure that they actually receive the money.
If you find yourself in this situation, you will likely have to ask the court to take further action and enforce the judgement. This can be done through a few different methods.
These include: The writ of execution, which allows a peace officer to take/levy the judgement debtor’s non-expempt property, which is then auctioned with the proceeds being used to pay for the judgement.
The abstract of judgement can also be invoked, which places liens against the defendant’s property, and needs to be filed in the judgement records of every county that the judgement debtor owns land in, or where they might one day own real property.
The lien will have to be paid before any property is sold or ownership transferred. Another method of enforcing the judgement is if a turnover statute is invoked. This is used if the debtor owns assets that can’t be easily levied by a peace officer, or attached with liens.
According to the Civil Practice and Remedies Code 31.002, a trial court can order the defendant to ‘turn over’ nonexempt assets to an officer or court receiver.
If one or both of the parties think that the judge made mistakes that significantly impacted the case’s outcome, they are able to appeal the decision. This typically happens in the next level of the courts.