Doctors bills are a common concern for our personal injury clients, and the concern especially arises when doctors bills exceed the settlement amount. If the doctors bills are paid, then essentially the client ends up with nothing or close to nothing. However, in an alternative arrangement, the attorney could disburse the settlement proceeds to the client, and the client’s doctors bills would follow the client after the settlement. While this may not be ideal, it does allow the client to make payments on the bills while keeping some money for themselves.
Aren’t Doctors Bills Liens Against Settlement Proceeds?
Some medical bills constitute liens against settlement proceeds. According to N.C.G.S. sec. 44-49, allows a person, corporation, state entity, county, or municipal corporation to claim a lien to the extent that entity provided medical services, drugs, medical supplies, or ambulatory services in connection with the injury for which the settlement has been reached.
While chiropractors are not specifically mentioned in the statute, it is generally understood that a chiropractor’s bill associated with treatment for the injury that gave rise to the settlement, constitutes a lien.
Does The Law Firm Negotiate Doctors Bills?
Yes. We will negotiate your medical bills for you. One way to maximize the benefit of your settlement is to have your personal injury lawyer negotiate your bills (medical bills, doctors bills, etc) as part of the settlement. Generally, we reach out to the medical providers, let them know the amount we are considering settling for, and encourage them to reduce their bill in order to make the settlement figure work for all parties.
Typically, as part of the reduction, the medical providers collectively will reduce their bills so that one third of the settlement proceeds goes to the attorney, one third to all the medical providers, and the remaining third goes to the client. So, by way of example, if you had a settlement of $90,000 but bills of $70,000, the personal injury lawyer would negotiate the bills down to $30,000. In the end, the client would end up with one third of the total settlement, and the negotiated bills would be deemed PAID IN FULL—the client wouldn’t owe anything to the medical providers after settlement.
If you have a question about a personal injury, a doctors bill, or would like to speak with an attorney about a personal injury, please call 704.749.7747. You can also request a consultation HERE. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.