Insurance companies are often entitled to some of the money they put out, but sometimes try to collect more than their contracts allow for. Hospitals as well may make a claim to settlement money, particularly when it comes to costs that were previously negotiated down by the insurance company.
How can you protect your settlement from disappearing into heaps of paperwork and loopholes?
- Seek professional advice from your attorney. The best thing you can do to protect your settlement money is to talk with an experienced attorney. Armed with complete knowledge of the law, your lawyer can tell you exactly what others are and are not entitled to.
- Know what your hospital is contracted for. Insurance companies have agreements with most hospitals set up long beforehand. Find out what those limits are to avoid paying for more than the contracts allow.
- Read the details of your policy. Since it is possible that your insurance company has the right to part of your settlement, read over the fine print to find out just what that is and to be sure it seems a reasonable amount.
- Look up the laws of your state. Many states have banned what is known as “balance billing,” in which hospitals disregard contractual pricing with insurance companies to take advantage of patients themselves.
- Review the breakdown. Your settlement should allot a certain amount for medical bills, loss of income, and other items covered. Be sure to review the settlement breakdown sheet before the check is ever deposited, and keep a copy for your records to prevent the entirety from going towards medical bills.
- Lookout for liens. In anticipation of a settlement claim, a hospital and/or doctor may file a lien without the patient’s permission on any money paid out within a certain period after providing care. While the hospital may have a right to a portion of your settlement, most don’t wait to find out before helping themselves.
A Tempe personal injury lawyer, like one of the skilled attorneys from the Simon Law Group, can help you navigate the money-hungry demands of hospitals and insurance companies who may seek to profit off of your settlement. Don’t trade one debt for another, or wait to find out what will be pulled from beneath you by your hospital and insurance company—get professional advice from Simon Law to protect your personal injury settlement.]]>