How Much Can Lawyers Negotiate Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

how much can lawyers negotiate medical bills

If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, you know just how disruptive and stressful the experience can be. Your main focus is on recovering from any injuries sustained. But in the background, medical and treatment bills start piling up fast.

You may not realize it but experienced personal injury lawyers have many strategies to significantly reduce medical bills stemming from a car accident. We routinely negotiate these expenses down for our clients, often by thousands of dollars.

Three important things to know about health insurance liens against personal injury settlements.

The Shocking Cost of Medical Care After An Accident

Most people underestimate just how expensive medical treatment can be after a collision. Between the ambulance ride, the hospital emergency room fees, diagnostic tests, doctor visits, medications, physical therapy, and more, the bills add up very quickly.

It’s not uncommon for us to see clients facing $20,000, $30,000, or even $50,000 in medical expenses. And that’s often just for initial treatment in the weeks and months following the crash! Long-term care for serious injuries can end up costing much, much more.

Why Hiring A Lawyer Often Leads To Lower Medical Bills

With extensive experience in personal injury claims and negotiations, lawyers have unique expertise to significantly reduce medical bills for clients injured in a car accident. There are a few key ways we can accomplish this:

Leveraging Our Claim Negotiation Experience

As personal injury attorneys, negotiating fair claim settlements is what we do every day. We know how to strategically negotiate medical expenses with insurance carriers. We also have established relationships with medical providers in the community and understand reasonable rates for different treatments.

The average person usually doesn’t havelacks this knowledge when trying to negotiate medical bills. You may not know what tactics adjusters use or what benchmarks determine fair rates. With our experience working with providers over the years, we can push for maximum reductions.

Using Legal Strategies To Challenge Unreasonable Charges

We have legal tools at our disposal to contest inflated or excessive medical bills. For example, we can request itemized statements and thoroughly audit fees line-by-line to identify unreasonable charges.

We can check billing codes against state fee schedules to detect rates that exceed regulations. If we find duplicate billings or outright errors, we demand corrections. We also leverage options like liens and letters of protection to motivate providers to accept fair payments.

Incentivizing Providers To Reduce Bills

As your legal advocates, we can negotiate with hospitals, doctors, clinics, and other providers to encourage them to accept significantly lower payments, especially when bundled with a settlement.

We make it clear that a negotiated injury claim resolution may not fully cover all their billed fees. This motivates them to reduce bills to secure at least some payment. And we work to avoid any remaining balance billing.

Strategies We Use To Negotiate Medical Bills Down

Over years of representing clients who have been injured, our attorneys have honed a number of proven techniques to successfully slash medical expenses associated with car accidents.

Maximizing Health Insurance Payments

We start by ensuring your own health insurer pays what they are obligated to cover under your policy and state law. This includes exhausting any Personal Injury Protection coverage or MedPay benefits that were included in your auto policy.

We don’t let insurers off the hook. We know how to effectively appeal denials and gaps in coverage to get your health insurer to foot as much of the medical bills as possible.

Bundling Bills For An Aggregated Settlement

Rather than nickel-and-diming individual medical expenses, we consolidate all the accident-related bills together and seek a single negotiated settlement with the providers.

This incentivizes them to provide a discount in order to ensure they receive at least some payment for their services. It also simplifies the process versus trying to haggle each bill separately.

Arguing the Fair Cost For Services Rendered

To contest unreasonable charges, we gather data on average market rates for the medical services you received after the accident. This allows us to make a data-driven case to providers for what constitutes fair and appropriate reimbursement.

No inflated “accident victim” rates. We won’t let them overcharge just because it resulted from a collision.

Offering Upfront Payment For Bigger Discounts

Many medical providers would prefer to receive a smaller guaranteed payment now versus a potentially larger payment later. As your attorneys, we can leverage your injury settlement funds and offer to pay some negotiated amount of the medical bills upfront in exchange for much deeper discounts from the providers.

Navigating the Medical Lien Process

Many of our clients don’t realize that medical providers can place a lien against any settlement they receive for the collision. This assigns them rights to settlement funds in order to cover unpaid medical bills.

Liens can be complex, and high lien amounts will reduce your take-home settlement. As your lawyers, we handle the lien process to optimize the outcome.

First, we negotiate the lien amount down as much as possible, just like we do for the bills. We also consolidate multiple liens into one to simplify things.

Importantly, we confirm lien details in writing so they are fixed – providers can’t later try to take more than agreed. We also negotiate contingency limits on liens to cap the amount due.

We craft a settlement strategy to satisfy liens using less valuable settlement components like future medical cost funds. This preserves more compensation for you.

Throughout the process, we make sure liens don’t jeopardize your financial recovery. Our lawyers have the experience to overcome this hurdle.

Beware Balance Billing Surprises After Settlement

Even once a car accident claim settles, some medical providers engage in “balance billing” to try to collect unpaid balances beyond what they received from the settlement allocation.

We take steps to shield clients from balance billing surprises that undermine their recovery. We notify all medical providers that accepting a settlement payment constitutes full and final payment on bills.

We document provider acknowledgment of this prior to disbursing any settlement funds. We negotiate balance billing waivers and releases as part of lien settlements.

If any provider later attempts to balance the bill, we fight it on the grounds that the settlement constituted an accord and satisfaction under the law. We also reiterate that the provider previously agreed to discharge the bill fully.

Our lawyers work to ensure you can fully put the accident behind you once your claim settles. No further billing surprises. You get the fresh start you deserve.

Why It Pays To Have Us In Your Corner

Having an experienced personal injury law firm on your side can potentially save you thousands of dollars in medical expenses after a car accident. This provides tremendous financial protection by limiting unexpected out-of-pocket costs.

You avoid having massive medical bills derail your life. This prevents medical debt, bankruptcy, and damage to your credit.

Just as importantly, you can focus fully on healing and recovery rather than stressing over never-ending bills. Reducing your accident-related expenses potentially increases compensation from an overall settlement.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a car accident and need help negotiating and reducing medical bills, contact our team at Onward Injury Law. Our lawyers will fight to relieve the financial burdens so you can get your life back on track after an accident.

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