Attorney paying for medical treatment after auto accident
Started by a1handy , Jan 07 2014 05:36 PM
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6 replies to this topic
Posted 07 January 2014 - 05:36 PM
I was recently involved in an auto accident. I do not have personal medical insurance and was approached by an attorney who agreed to pay for my basic treatment. So far (about 5 months) he has paid for or will pay for about $6000 in medical bills.. I am still paying for prescriptions, transportation, etc. When settlement occurs, how much interest, can I expect to pay for the medical expenses he has paid for. I have tried to speak with him and he says at this point he does not have all of the details of my case and cannot give me an estimate. What can I do......what can I expect.
Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:15 PM
Do you have a written fee agreement that explains how all that works?
If not, attorneys generally get 1/3 of your settlement plus expenses. In other words, expenses come off the top, the attorney gets reimbursed what he advanced, medical bills get paid if they haven't already been paid and you get 2/3 of what's left.
If you are still being treated for your injury then he's probably correct that he doesn't have all the details and he can't give you an estimate.
Meantime, all you can do is wait.
Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and http://www.lawyer.com/kevin-cortright-592211061.html comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.
Posted 08 January 2014 - 08:42 AM
When settlement occurs, how much interest, can I expect to pay for the medical expenses he has paid for.
I have a hard time believing any attorney would pay your medical expenses without a written agreement providing for reimbursement. Do you have a written agreement with your attorney? If so, then the answer to your question depends on the terms of that agreement and the laws of your unidentified state. If you don't have one, then you can expect to pay up to the legal rate of interest in your unidentified state. By the way, if you don't have a written agreement with your lawyer, you might consider contacting your state's bar about whether the attorney has done anything improper.
Posted 08 January 2014 - 12:41 PM
Thanks, everyone's explanations were helpful. It seems no one is suggesting I am going to have to pay interest on the expenses or medical bills paid by my attorney which is what I am concerned about. Since my original post, I spoke with one of my medical providers and was told that they are not reimbursed until the claim is paid. Therefore there should not be any interest involved since the attorney is not actually paying anything up front. He has just made an agreement with the medical providers to defer payment until settlement.
I do have a written agreement and it does not mention any interest but someone had told me there would be. Therefore, my concern.
Posted 08 January 2014 - 01:59 PM
It seems no one is suggesting I am going to have to pay interest on the expenses or medical bills paid by my attorney which is what I am concerned about.
Not sure how you interepreted either of the prior two responses to mean this. Both of us said that the answer depends on the terms of yoru written agreement with your attorney and the laws of your unidentified state, unless you have no written agreement, in which case, I said that you can reasonably expect to pay interest up to the legal rate permitted by your state's laws. Of course, now you've told us that the relevant facts are different from what you mentioned in your original post.
Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:19 PM
Uhm, I'd want detals on this "deferral" agreement with the providers, because when you sought treatment, you almost certainly signed something stating you're responsible for the charges regardless, and that document may have you agreeing to interest. (You don't identify the "someone" or what their knowledge base is on the topic of interest.)
Naturally, an attorney agreeing to front actual medical expenses would be indicative of the strength of your case, whereas with the attorney having no skin in the game (and likely not guaranteeing payment to the providers either), things are more iffy and the attorney may be looking for a quick settlement that benefits him/his firm more than what you might otherwise get. (Naturally, expenses and lost earnings, etc. are one thing, and pain and suffering damages are another. We can't know what multiple of med expenses the attorney has said he expects and will not settle for less/will go to trial if the insurer/responsible party won't settle. This is all stuff to discuss with the attorney.)
I agree you might want to look to your state bar's site to read up on what the attorney should and shouldn't disclose, and what must be in writing in the retainer/fee agreement if he expects to collect X. (Some states will mandate this and others won't.)
I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics. If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable. Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.
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