Medical Bills and Total Florida Personal Injury Recovery
One of the great mysteries for anyone who is or has been a plaintiff in a Florida personal injury lawsuit is how the amount of your past medical expenses is determined and, ultimately and more importantly, how your recovery from the jury verdict or settlement is affected by those past medical expenses. What you as the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit need to understand is that, if your health insurer paid for treatment caused by someone else’s negligence and you reach a settlement or obtain a jury verdict with or against the person who caused those injuries, your health insurer usually has a right to request reimbursement from you for whatever amounts they spent related to treatment for your injuries caused by that other person’s negligence. However, your personal injury attorney can often play a key role in this process by negotiating those amounts as low as possible to ensure that you recover every penny you deserve, which is the approach taken by the experienced Florida personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley.
How Medical Billing Actually Works in Florida
Although physicians and other health care professionals have a set amount that they “charge” for each medical procedure or service they provide, most are paid according to a set contract rate they have agreed to in advance with your health insurer. The amount they have agreed to accept from a particular insurer depends on what the service or procedure they provided to the patient was. Therefore, your primary care physician may “charge” your insurer $300 for a regular office visit, but the insurer will only pay the amount it has contracted with your primary care doctor to pay, perhaps $170. The amount a particular physician or medical provider accepts also may differ from insurer to insurer; a physician who sees a large number of patients covered by Florida Blue may be more willing to take a lesser amount from Florida Blue than they would from another insurer for the same procedure or service. This is because the doctor may know they will make more money simply because there are more patients covered by Florida Blue.
Your Health Plan, Its Right of Subrogation and Liens
Where this affects you as a Florida personal injury plaintiff who has been injured by someone else’s negligence is that most health plans have buried in their fine print in the back of the plan documents something known as a right of subrogation. This means that, to the extent any of the charges they pay are related to medical treatment for injuries that are the result of someone else’s negligence and you either recover damages from that person or his or her insurer(s) in a settlement or lawsuit, then your own insurer can request reimbursement from you for any medical expenses they paid for those injuries. To think about it in the simplest terms possible, if your health insurance paid for treatment related to injuries you suffered due to someone else’s negligence and you eventually recover from the person that injured you, your health insurer can ask to be paid back.
How Does This Affect My Florida Personal Injury Recovery?
Since they have this right of subrogation, most health insurers will assert what is called a lien in your personal injury lawsuit. What this means is the health insurer will formally notify you or your attorney they are seeking recovery of the money they paid for treatment associated with any injuries caused by the person you are suing in the event you are successful in either obtaining a settlement or winning your lawsuit against that person. However, your attorney can and will often negotiate with the insurer to reduce the amount of money they are willing to accept for this lien, thereby maximizing your Florida personal injury recovery.
At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, our attorneys know which insurers will and will not negotiate down the amount of their outstanding liens. Whereas some Florida personal injury attorneys do not want to do the work of negotiating with a client’s insurer to reduce the amount of the lien because it does not increase the attorney’s overall compensation, we are different. Any savings in this process goes directly to the client rather than affecting the attorney’s portion of any settlement or jury verdict, so our attorneys approach this task differently. We want to ensure that every penny goes to our clients that they deserve, so we negotiate aggressively with our clients’ insurers to reduce the amount of the outstanding liens to the absolute minimum. This is simply another way that we put our clients’ interests first and ensure they maximize their recovery as a result of their injuries caused by someone else’s negligence.
Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys of Schwed, Adams & McGinley
When you or a loved one suffers a serious injury due to someone else’s negligence, you need legal assistance you can depend on to help you recover maximum compensation for those injuries. The experienced, skilled Florida personal injury lawyers at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. are adept at handling even the most complex personal injury claims. Our attorneys have more than 150 years of combined experience in personal injury litigation, including working with clients who have suffered all different sorts of injuries in all different sorts of scenarios. We do everything we can to ensure our clients receive the maximum compensation for their injuries suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence, including aggressively negotiating with your health insurer(s) to reduce the amount of any liens to the lowest amount possible. Call us today at 877.694.6079 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org at to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer today.