Negotiating Outstanding Medical Bills
Many are involved in accidents, are severely injured as a result, yet they do not have any type of health insurance to cover their medical bills. As discussed on earlier posts, if you have been involved in an auto accident in Massachusetts, your auto insurance company will pay the first $2000.00 of your medical bills, and if you do not have private health insurance, your auto carrier will pay whatever is remaining after the $2000.00, up to a limit of $8000.00.
So, if you have been involved in an auto accident and do not have health insurance, you need not worry about your medical bills being paid because your auto insurance will likely – with a few exceptions – pay the first $8000.00. But what if you have been involved in a slip and fall, or other type of accident, and your medical bills are mounting up, and no one but you is responsibe to pay them?
Usually, the medical providers that treat you (i.e. chiropractors, physical therapists) will have you a sign a piece of paper which grants to the provider a lien against any monies you receive if and when your bodily injury case is settled. But what is your case settles for $15, 000.00, but your medical expenses following your accident were $20, 000.00 (that does not include the 1/3 that the lawyer will take as a legal fee of the top of the settlement)?
The bottom line is that these liens can be NEGOTIATED, and at times, these medical providers are willing to dramatically reduce their liens because in their eyes, a little money is better than nothing. But you cannot negotiate with these providers after the case is settled, because you will have obviously lost all of your negotiating leverage. Medical liens must be negotiated BEFORE you settle your bodily injury claim.
Please contact me with any questions you may have about Massachusetts personal injury law.