Do I Have to Repay Medical Bills from My Personal Injury Settlement ?
Many injured people are fortunate enough to have insurance, and their Personal Injury Protection [PIP]*, health, employer, private disability insurance, or any combination of those sources pay for some past or future lost wages, or some past or future medical care. IN some instances, a federally funded insurance substitute such as Medicare or Medicaid makes a payment related to a personal injury event. As attorney Eric T. Kirk will tell you, an experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyer will insure that your jury is specifically instructed that it “may not reduce the amount of or your award because you believe or infer that the plaintiff has received or will receive reimbursement for or payment of proven medical expenses or lost earnings from persons or entities other than the defendant” such as insurance. [MPJI 10.8]. That’s called the collateral source rule. Although juries are instructed not to consider collateral sources, that does not mean that medical providers or other insurers [but not PIP] cannot be reimbursed for expenditures they make in the wake of a Baltimore car accident. Indeed, in most cases, those insurance carriers will assert a claim or a “lien” on any amount you are awarded. Medicare and Medicaid have a claim for reimbursement as a matter of law. There are many legal arguments that an experienced personal injury litigator can make in an effort to get these claims for reimbursement reduced.
One of the most important roles your Baltimore personal injury attorney should fill is as a negotiator of these liens.
An experienced Baltimore personal injury attorney often will be successful in getting the amounts claimed by medical providers, and in some instances, insurers who have paid medical bills in the wake of an automobile accident, reduced- meaning more money in your pocket.
*The Assembly has recently enacted a change in this process. Marylanders now have the option of carrying less insurance. An insured may now reject personal injury protection altogether, under specific circumstances. See Insurance Article, Md. INSURANCE Code Ann. § 19-506.1.