QUESTION: I was in an auto accident in Baltimore, MD over the Christmas break. The other driver was found at fault and I was moderately injured. I go to school in the eastern Alabama area and need a chiropractor and orthopedic surgeon in the area who specializes in accident injuries and is open to communicating with my lawyer in Baltimore. I have substantial knee damage with reoccuring neck pain and headaches. Thanks for any help!!!!
ANSWER: ask your primary care doctor or insurance company for a referral.
QUESTION: My credit report is still showing that medical bills from my vehicle accident were never paid. Allstate sent a ck for $7000 to my lawyer pay medical providers, at his request. I need to know where that $7000 went. I have asked my lawyer by phone, email, and requested by mail four times. My requests are ignored. Don't I have a right to know who received the $7000, especially since it is still being reported two years later on my credit report. Thank you for any insight.
ANSWER: Ok Alabama, here is some insight for you. I am in Florida where I practice auto negligence law now. Here, by law we have to give our clients a settlement statement which discloses where the money went. I do not know if that is a legal requirement in Alabama. In Florida we have have No Fault law so docs get paid for the first 10K from that then BI coverage kicks in but we are in the minority for PIP insurance coverage. You probably had a BI claim, and in most instances a lawyer takes an auto case on a contingency fee contract. There is a priority on how you are paid from a settlement recovered when there is such a contract. First, lawyers fees and costs get paid (assuming no super liens) then your medical bills,(hospitals ambulance first) then you. What you get is called a net tort recovery that is what is left over after everyone else is paid. If you got any money from this settlement, and your doctor did not, you owe the doctor the money you received from settlement. The doctor should of been paid first before you got dollar one he has priority. If you entered into settlement in most states the lawyer must have your authority to enter into it. This means that these things get explained to you first then you gave authority to settle. You have a duty to give your lawyer ALL your doctor information, we do not as a collective know about all your doctors, you as client need to tell us and send us all the bills before you settle, when we know about doctors bills we call them and pay the bill from the settlement,(we cannot pay any we do not know about) or ask for a reduction of the bill and or if possible eliminate the debit by asking for a write off (in extreme circumstances). In our settlement statement it says we paid who you told us about and if per chance some bill was not disclosed you are responsible for it. Check you client contract for such language. At the end of the day even after a settlement, there may be insufficient money to pay everyone, especially if the bills were big and the policy small. When that happens we give the settlement to the court and ask the Judge to Equitably distribute the money, everyone comes in and asks for there share the court divides it up among the doctors. If there was an equitable distribution the doc gets paid "something" but you still owe the balance because the the "difference" is still owed. Good lawyers work hard to get "write offs and reductions from the docs for their clients. It is however, not always possible, for the reasons I touched on above. There are other issues when Medicare and health insurance are involved. You may owe a deductible, you may be receiving a "balance" billing on an out of network provider for health insurance could be a co-pay in other words something you owe. Like I said many variables can apply. Now, some reply even a few minutes on this issue should be provided by your lawyer under normal circumstances. I would ask for a settlement statement or copy of the checks issued and paid to your doctors. Write a letter attach the bill or credit report asked what went wrong, who got paid, where did $$ go? why was there a deficiency, give him 30 days to respond in writing. After 30 days, write letter number 2, say unfortunately you have not answered my letter, I am advising you I am sending this letter and the prior letter to the Alabama Bar for a formal inquiry into why you have not responded. He may be legally in the right, but failure to communicate is still something EVERY bar frowns on he owes you a response, unless this is really old, file is destroyed in storage etc...