Hospitals can and do sue injured patients over unpaid medical bills.
Here is what might shock you. Alabama law states that a hospital or emergency room provider can put a lien on any patient’s injury case judgment or settlement. In short, that means the health care provider can force the insurance company, which is settling the case, to pay them before they pay you. In fact, by law, you cannot resolve your injury case unless you pay them.
Why do you care? Because this can affect how much money you put in your pocket.
Now, medical provider liens can be a very tricky part of Alabama law. Here is the problem – you want the most money, the hospital wants the most money, and the insurance company wants to pay the least.
This lien law is not necessarily bad. Over the years, I estimate I have saved my clients millions of dollars by getting the medical providers to accept less than they billed. A lot of that is because of this law.
Here is how it works – if a hospital accepts the new payment, it can get its money almost immediately. Plus, it does not have to go through the often expensive procedure of collecting from an injured individual. Remember, the hospital or medical provider gets paid when the case is resolved. So if they don’t accept the lower fee, it is potentially years of no money coming into them.
To show you how dramatic this can be and how it can impact the money you get to keep, let me tell you of a motorcycle case where the medicals bills were close to $100,000 but were settled for close to $10,000.
If you suffer a personal injury like a truck/railroad/auto accident, or slip and fall, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.
Join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We are taking a fall break and will offer 5-minute segments for the rest of the year and a live call-in segment every Monday on NBC 15 at around lunchtime.
Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer