Can you delay paying bills without lowering credit score until personal injury case is over? How? 14 Answers as of May 26, 2015

I have been involved in a personal injury case for almost a year now. I was badly injured in a car crash, and we have been battling the insurance company since. I have had to a pay a large number of medical bills - doctor and hospital visits, tests, physical therapy - and I am beyond broke. The insurance company made me an offer that is less than I wanted but would cover most of my expenses. My lawyer says we should wait for a better deal, but I think I might have to declare bankruptcy if we do not make a deal soon. Should I wait? Are there ways to delay bills until we settle?

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Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
You and your lawyer should sign liens in favor of each medical care provider, assuring them payment when the case is settled.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/26/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
In many states, hospitals are permitted to take a lien on the proceeds of a lawsuit up to the amount of their bill. This is one protection they may have. You can explain to them in detail your financial situation and why you have to delay completing payment. You can be sure that they have encountered this situation many times before. Perhaps your lawyer should help and in fact, he or she is the one who should be answering this question. Bankruptcy may be worth considering if you are 'beyond broke.' Speak with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in your vicinity. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/26/2015
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
There are ways to keep the creditor wolves at bay short of bankruptcy. These are all questions and issues you need to be discussing with your lawyer. But whatever you do, don't file bankruptcy without talking to your mva lawyer. You could wind up losing your right to sue for your injuries if it is not done right. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/26/2015
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
I don't see how you could. The debt is independent of the injury case, and of course, you could always lose the case. Under Michigan law, you would turn the medical bills over to your own auto insurance for payment IF the bills arose "out of the operation of a motor vehicle."
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/26/2015
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
Yes, you can delay bills, but as you suggest, that will adversely affect your credit score. Also, you can declare bankruptcy while your case is pending, but you will only be allowed a certain amount and the rest will go to your creditors. If your personal injury lawyer does not handle bankruptcy, ask him/her for a referral for a consolation with a bankruptcy lawyer and discuss some scenarios with different numbers and see how it works out.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/26/2015
    Law Office of Lisa Hurtado McDonnell | Lisa Hurtado McDonnell
    The insurance company should be paying your on going medical bills, if their is no question about liability. Have you exceed the pip insurance? The overall settlement should wait until all medical issues are resolved.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/26/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    You should speak with your own attorney, as he/she is handling the case. Unpaid bills are not reported to the credit bureaus until the creditor decides to do so. You could contact each one to get them not to report. But I do not know whether not paying any of the bills has less of an effect on your credit than declaring bankruptcy. I would think your petition would not be granted with a recovery large enough to pay all of your bills, so filing for Bankruptcy probably is a lose-lose situation for you. Once you do settle, your attorney will negotiate with the creditors and most if not all of them will reduce their claims. Some medical providers, in fact, have charged you more because insurance is involved so they think they can collect more than what they would charge some one who was injured without any insurance coverage being involved. But your attorney should have already told you this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2015
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    You should rely on your lawyer's advice about this. You should avoid filing bankruptcy, if at all possible. If you file for bankruptcy, your personal injury claim will have to be declared as an asset in your bankruptcy petition. The trustee in bankruptcy will then be the person to call all of the shots, such as whether to accept to reject a settlement offer from the insurance company. You, therefore, will no longer be in control of your claim. Perhaps your lawyer can talk to your creditors to let them know that you will be able to pay them once your claim has been resolved.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/25/2015
    Law Offices of Robert Burns
    Law Offices of Robert Burns | Robert Burns
    Your lawyer is paid to answer such questions. I am not paid to answer such questions. Until I should be presented with a good reason for me to answer such questions, I decline to do so.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2015
    Pius Joseph A Professional Law Corp. | Pius Joseph
    This is a serious issue you need to address with the lawyer. If you have a case of significant value and you are essentially being haunted with bills try to work out a lien for those bills. If your lawyer is knowledgeable about it you can obtain a lawsuit advance in an injury case and take care of your priorities to avoid bankruptcy if you can. Bankruptcy will complicate your injury claim and proceeds once you get it. Do not file it until you discuss the ramifications with your lawyer or someone competent about the subject. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2015
    Law Offices of Tanya Gendelman, P.C.
    Law Offices of Tanya Gendelman, P.C. | Tanya Gendelman, Esq.
    If you were involved in a car crash, your medical bills should be paid by no-fault, if the bills should exceed 50k, your bills can be postponed and negotiated down, all this work should be done by your lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/25/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Your attorney knows better than anyone off the internet. See and take their counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/25/2015
    Lloyd H. Thomas III P.C. | Lloyd H. Thomas III
    Call you lawyer right away and let them know about your issues. There are companies that make loans on personal injury cases, but the interest rates are high. Some companies will hold off on collecting bills if they know you are represented by an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/25/2015
    Geneva Yourse | Geneva Yourse
    Possibly, it depends on the specific bills. Ask your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 5/25/2015
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