Unpaid Medical Bills
You are responsible for the costs of your medical treatment and the expense of repairing or replacing your property, such as a car that is damaged in a collision or other accident. The Supreme Court’s code of professional ethics does not allow us to pay those expenses and losses for you. We can, however, agree with health care providers that they will be repaid from the proceeds of your claim in the event we are successful as we pursue it for you. When the doctors’ bills haven’t been fully paid by your insurance, doctors can be reluctant to cooperate. Frequently, we ask your permission to pay the balance of the doctors’ bills out of the proceeds of your case, and usually the doctors will agree with this arrangement. This helps you in two ways: First, the doctor will not institute collection proceedings against you; secondly, the doctor is happier, more cooperative, and more likely to sympathize with your predicament. We need doctors to help convince the insurance company, judge and jury of the severity of your injuries, and hence the need for just compensation.
Your property damage, if it involves a car, will usually be payable by the collision insurance you’ve paid for with your own insurance company. Often there will be a $200 to $500 deductible expense which you must incur. This expense, in turn, may be included in your lawsuit. If you do not have collision insurance coverage, your property damage claim will be included among all the other damages for which we sue.
It is unusual for the insurance company for the defendant to advance you money for medical expenses or for repair of your property. Occasionally, however, they will make such provisions. For reasons we outline in the next section, beware when they do!