Hospitals taking advantage of personal injury victims is not a new scenario. As a matter of fact, this issue has occurred far too often and it is a good thing that news stories like the one below are being published to help inform the general public about ways that hospitals take advantage of personal injury victims. WSB News Story From 2/13/18 – “Man says hospital went after car crash settlement instead of billing insurance:”
When someone is involved in a car accident for which a personal injury claim is filed, hospitals, in particular, have a tendency to refuse to bill health insurance. “The Myth” that most hospitals will cite when questioned about this practice is that they have “internal policies” which outline that they must file car insurance BEFORE health insurance. This myth is completely biased in favor of hospitals as they are understandably acting in their own interests – to collect as much of the total billed amount as possible. Hospitals know that if they don’t file health insurance claims, especially when they are in network, then the victim of a personal injury case will then have to pay or negotiate the full amount of the bill with them at the end of the case. In fact, O.C.G.A. §44-14-470-476 protects hospitals by allowing them to file liens against the settlement proceeds of a personal injury victim’s case for the entire amount billed. While it is understandable that hospitals are interested in collecting the full value of their bill in personal injury scenarios, refusing to file health insurance claims on the part of personal injury victims who have health insurance actually causes harm in the long run to the victims because it unnecessarily eats away at victims’ final recovery amount in a case. In short, when a hospital refuses to bill health insurance, MORE settlement money is used up to pay the hospital bill and LESS money goes to the client’s pocket.
Our other blog post titled “The Role of Health Insurance in Personal Injury Cases” outlines how health insurance specifically benefits victims in personal injury cases. Suffice it to say, billing health insurance usually tends to save large amounts of money on clients’ behalf when settlement time comes. When a large hospital bill is incurred by the victim of a personal injury case and a health insurance claim is not filed, it is similar to a person going to a store that advertises an item at 50% off and deciding to pay full price for the item instead of taking advantage of the discount. At Paisley Law, LLC we strive, insofar as we are able, to make sure every client that has health insurance takes advantage of it and doesn’t have to pay more than they have to for treatment out of pocket.
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In all, please do not believe the myth that hospitals cannot bill health insurance in personal injury cases. Not only can they file claims, but they should file claims – there is no reason other than greed which would compel them not to. If you have been injured in a car accident and are dealing with a large hospital bill and have health insurance, please make every effort to ensure that a health insurance claim is filed timely in order to take advantage of the benefits that are available to you. Hiring an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney, such as the attorney’s at Paisley Law, LLC, helps to relieve these situations from clients so that they can focus on what’s important – getting better and healing after a car wreck. Lastly, manual claims can always be filed as well so even if a hospital refuses to file a claim with a health insurer, the insured can always submit a copy of the bill to their health insurer and have a claim processed. Unfortunately, many people are taken advantage of by hospitals refusing to bill health insurance and end up being short-changed by a completely avoidable scenario when it comes time to settle a case.
Contact Paisley Law, LLC today and speak to James Paisley directly at 404.618.0960 or email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. The goal of our blogs and videos is to educate the public even if it does not serve our own interests. We want to give anyone injured in Georgia as much useful information so they can make informed decisions about their case.