You could be liable for significant medical costs if you are the victim of negligence. These expenses may be covered by your own insurance, but you will need to reimburse them. Imagine your insurance limits preventing you from covering all your medical expenses. If that happens, your healthcare provider (the Hospital, for instance) will ask you to pay the rest of your personal injury compensation.
Your healthcare provider and your insurance company can place a medical lien on your personal injuries claim to enforce these demands. This means that your healthcare provider and your insurance company can both make money from your personal injury settlement or verdict before it reaches you to pay your medical debts.
Isn’t My Compensation Enough To Pay My Medical Bills?
You should be able to leave enough money if you get a fair amount of compensation, even after you have paid your doctor, insurance company, and lawyer.
You can usually demand the following elements of compensation in most cases:
- Medical expenses
- You may have lost earnings if you are unable to work due to your injury.
- There is pain and suffering.
Your compensation for medical bills or lost earnings could be more than pain and suffering. Other compensation options include future medical bills, occupational disabilities, mental anguish and disfigurement, loss in quality of life, or compensation for future medical expenses. You might even qualify for punitive damages.
Let’s say you have a slip-and-fall accident at a departmental store. Your medical expenses total $90,000. Your total medical expenses are $90,000. Your insurance company will pay the $50,000 to the hospital, but you still owe $40,000 in medical bills. The hospital will file a medical lien for $40,000.
Let’s say you win a case against the department store and get $310,000 to pay for medical expenses, lost earnings, pain, and suffering. To reimburse your insurance provider for $50,000, the court will also take $40,000 to reimburse the hospital. This will leave you with $220,000. Your lawyer will then take their fee. Assuming there is no other deduction like comparative fault, the remainder goes into your wallet.
Unreasonably High Medical Expenses
Imagine that the hospital files an unreasonably large medical lien against your property for unreasonably high medical expenses. Your hospital could file a medical lien against you for unreasonably high medical expenses. You could be responsible for paying the verdict or settlement if your insurance company has already paid your policy limits.
Florida law permits you to challenge the decision. A court can reduce the number of your medical bills on the basis:
- Market factors, such as the rates charged by hospitals for similar services;
- The usual and customary rate that a hospital charges for its services.
- The hospital’s internal costs structure.
Unreasonably high medical costs can be challenged by a medical billing analyst.
A Skilled Legal Representation Is A Necessity, But Not A Luxury
It is not something you want to happen. The hospital may place a lien against your compensation only to find that your medical bills exceed the amount of compensation. This means that you are receiving less compensation than you should have. This could happen if your lawyer is not competent or you are representing yourself. It might not be possible to request more information by that time.
This is why you should hire a lawyer right away. If you are concerned about the cost of hiring a lawyer, don’t be. Personal injury lawyers usually do not charge upfront. You will be charged a percentage of any compensation they provide.
This post was written by Kelly-Ann Jenkins of Jenkins Law P.L. Kelly-Ann is an insurance claim Lawyer. The information on this site is not intended to and does not offer legal advice, legal recommendations, or legal representation on any matter. Hiring an attorney is an important decision, which should not be based on advertising. You need to consult an attorney for legal advice regarding your individual situation. Click here to learn more! The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser; the ABA and its members do not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.