It has become increasingly common for treating hospitals or doctor’s offices to refuse to file a car accident victim’s own health insurance if there is a possible settlement from an automobile insurance company. Instead, the hospital will file a “lien” attached to the proceeds the victim receives from the personal injury claim, which means that before any net proceeds are released to the client, the hospital lien must be paid. Typically, the lien will be filed for 100% of the hospital bill, whether the charges are fair and reasonable or not. In the end, although the victim protects themselves from large, unpaid bills by having health insurance, and has means to pay the bill with this method, the hospital will elect to instead collect the funds from the claim in full. The unfortunate result of this situation is that victims of the negligence of another person are again victimized by the very hospitals that treated them for injuries.
Does this sound greedy? Yes; however, the hospital usually reasons that health insurance would deny a claim based on the fact that the reason for treatment was someone else’s responsibility. The Lariscy Law Firm, we know this to be false in most cases. We, unfortunately, can’t force a hospital to file health insurance; however, there are ways to protect you. As mentioned in a previous blog, Medical Payments Coverage is available as an option under the victim’s own automobile insurance policy. If you elect to have this coverage, you can use this coverage as a resource to pay related medical bills incurred by the collision.
Additionally, an agreement can be set up with the victim’s health insurance carrier to pay on the claims incurred by the accident, as long as they are reimbursed for the amount paid toward the bills. The advantage to this is that the standard 30-40% a health insurance company may pay on a bill is all that would be required for reimbursement, instead of paying the bill in full out of the settlement.
These types of situations can be very confusing unless handled by a professional. It is best that you have an experienced personal injury attorney handle your claim so the appropriate action is always taken.
Call our office at 706-389-4375 or contact us online to discuss your case.