Who pays the medical bills on a not at fault personal injury claim in auto accident? 15 Answers as of January 30, 2013

I was in a not at fault auto accident and racked up 22k in medical bills. The hospital placed a lien on my settlement. The max coverage for the at fault driver only covered 12,500 for personal injury. I got the hospital to reduce the medical bills down to half of the settlement, which would be 6250. On the reduction letter, it states I have ten days after receiving the funds to send them their half or the deal is off. But the at fault drivers insurance company refuses to send me the whole 12,500 and wants to pay the hospital themselves. I personally want to receive the whole 12,500 and take care of the hospital bills myself. Is the insurance company obligated to pay the hospital personally or are they just dragging me around because they don’t trust I will pay the medical bills out of the settlement.

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Law Office of Lisa Hurtado McDonnell | Lisa Hurtado McDonnell
If the insurance company pays you and you don't pay the hospital, the insurance company will be liable to the hospital because they placed a lien on your settlement that is why the insurance company is reluctant to pay you directly.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 1/30/2013
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
There is no insurance coverage at 12500 (unless there are several injured persons sharing) you and I both know that if you get the 12500 it is gone. The hospital has a lien and they want to be paid now.get you a good PI lawyer and find out what is going on.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 1/30/2013
Law Offices of Mark West
Law Offices of Mark West | Mark West
Because the hospital placed a lien on the settlement, it is perfectly within the right of the insurance company to pay the hospital out of the settlement. Unfortunately, some people get the entire settlement money and don't pay the lien off, and the insurance company is then on the hook, and sometimes for the entire bill, not the reduced amount.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/30/2013
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
It depends on the paperwork you signed at the hospital. It is likely that you signed an agreement giving the hospital a lien on the proceeds that the insurer must honor.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 1/29/2013
Atterbury, Kammer & Haag | Eric J. Haag
I am suspicious that you have not been given accurate information. The minimum liability limits available are $25,000. You technically have a right to recover the medical expenses, although the insurer doesn't have to pay you until or unless you agree to indemnify them for any medical expenses or subrogated claims or liens.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 1/28/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    If there is a lien on the proceeds, it puts a burden on the insurance company to make sure the bill is taken care of. They don't want to take a chance that you will take the money and run. If the insurance company will agree to take care of the lien and pay you the other half, then it really shouldn't make any difference to you. To me, it seems like it will be easier for you since you won't have to deal with the hospital. Now, that being said, there is a possibility that there is another source for you to recover the rest of your damages-your own policy or even that of another's if you qualify for coverage under it! I would at least talk with a lawyer familiar with Alabama accident law to see if you possibly get additional monies from other insurance sources.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 1/28/2013
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    First of all what do you mean that the incident was not a no fault case? Were you in a vehicle that was not insured or was insured with a company that was not bonded in New York? If that is the case you would be responsible for the bills that were incurred. The defendant's insurance would be only liable for pain and suffering and by wishing that the liens be paid by them they are protecting their liability from the liens coming after them. You should discuss this matter with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/28/2013
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    You need to determine whether you had under insured motorist coverage on your policy. You probably will have to allow the at fault driver's insurance company to pay the bills directly to the hospital, but at least your bills would be covered.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/28/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    The insurance company does not want to have to pay twice. Let them pay the hospital.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 1/28/2013
    Frank Law Group, P.C.
    Frank Law Group, P.C. | Brett E. Rosenthal
    The carrier, in the event you do not pay, can be liable even if they can establish they paid you. Therefore, the can do one of two things; one, put both you and the hospital as payees on the settlement check, which I wouldn't recommend, or two, pay the hospital directly and send you the balance. That is something I would recommend doing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/28/2013
    Moore Law Firm
    Moore Law Firm | Frederick J. Moore III
    In Alabama, hospital bills are protected under the lien statute if they are filed timely. If this is the case, insurance companies typically want to satisfy the lien that is in place because they could be responsible for that amount if you did not pay it. Simply send them a copy of the hospital reduction letter and tell them to make one check payable to the Hospital and one check payable to you. You can request that they forward both checks to you so that you can give it to the hospital.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 1/28/2013
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    First your settlement appears to low. If you had an attorney the entire settlement would be sent to him and held in trust for everyone to be paid. Since you are not one the insurance company is concerned that if you don't pay them they could be sued. If there isn't a formal lien you should still get the entire amount.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/28/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    You are correct that they don't trust you to pay the medical bills out of the settlement. It's a good thing that resource is available. Let them pay the bill. If they want to get a reduction, let them do it on their own.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/28/2013
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC | Bruce A. Curry
    The insurance company wants to make sure you actually pay the hospital and not use the money for something else. In the event the government paid any party of your medical bills, both you and the insurance company can be held directly liable if you decided not to pay the hospital. Also, consider asserting an under insured motorist claim with your own insurance company if you paid for that coverage. That should be done before you settle with the tortfeasor's insurance company since in most cases your own insurance company must consent to the settlement you are considering with the at-fault driver.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/28/2013
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