In a bodily injury case there almost always is a medical lien of some sort. Medical liens are created by statute or by specific actions of the medical provider, or even by your actions. Statutes or case law probably make you – an attorney – responsible to pay those medical liens out of the settlement funds, on penalty of you personally paying them after letting the plaintiff get the settlement money. Your “best practice”: routinely use our Plaintiff's Request to Medical Providers.
Plaintiff’s Request for Medical Bill Amount gives you:
- Information: You get medical bill amounts in a format that binds the medical provider, plus the name of who to phone if you need to negotiate the medical bill downward to achieve your client’s agreement to settle the bodily injury claim.
- Protection and Peace of Mind: You prevent legal malpractice claims and the post-settlement disputes – disputes by your client with you; and by the doctor / hospital / chiropractor / physical therapist / and other medical providers with you – that will arise unless you pay out the correct amounts to each medical provider with a lien or letter of protection (from you or your client).
- A “Best Practice”: You can put the “medical bill amounts” part of settlement on auto-pilot, with your secretary sending these requests out to all medical providers before you go to that final settlement conference, or mediation, with your client. You arrive with proof of the up-to-date medical bill amounts, every time.
This form is for plaintiff’s bodily injury attorneys.
Making the final decisions to settle – a bodily injury plaintiff needs to know how much of the settlement money will go to medical providers instead of to him/her. The client is unhappy if a settlement were made and the entire settlement proceeds goes to pay the attorney’s fee and the doctors’ bills, leaving nothing for the client! That’s the scenario for some of the legal malpractice claims in the courts.
What the client needs to know, you as a plaintiff’s BI attorney need to know.
It is now common that as a condition of providing medical treatment without immediate payment , the client’s medical provider demands a letter of protection from the attorney. The law is substantially established nationally that any letter of protection makes you (as a plaintiff’s lawyer who gets the settlement check to pass to the plaintiff) a trustee for the client’s medical provider. You are personally liable to the medical providers to see that they are paid – before your client.
Don’t be caught short by relying on outdated bills in your file. Protect yourself from an unexpected bill amount by making a specific inquiry of all medical providers in regard to the amount of their unpaid bill. Do that during the time of the final settlement negotiations (or immediately after winning the trial).
Plaintiff’s Request for Medical Bill Amount is designed to maximize the chance you will receive a quick response from the medical provider, and get that response in a written (fax) communication rather than a phone call. Having received the written assurance of the medical provider what the amount of the unpaid bill is, both the client and you (importantly) are in a position to prevent claims for more.
Here’s another advantage of Plaintiff’s Request for Medical Bill Amount — a well-thought-out form. Plaintiff’s Request for Medical Bill Amount asks the medical provider to give you a specific contact person and their phone number. That becomes important to you if the plaintiff’s case can only be settled if all or some of the medical providers agree to reduce their bill so plaintiff receives more and medical providers receive less of a small settlement amount. You need to negotiate by phone from the settlement/mediation room. Having the responses to your Plaintiff’s Request for Medical Bill Amount in your notebook lets you do that. Being able to settle one case better or faster is worth the small amount paid for this form.
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