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Can I sue the hospital for my bills if I was admitted against my will? Medical Malpractice

Discussion in 'Professional, Medical Malpractice' started by Abel Bliman, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. Abel Bliman

    Abel Bliman Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello legal advice,

    2 years ago my wife was admitted against her will to the hospital. She got involved in a hit and run while walking back from the bars. She had been drinking a little bit but was not drunk by any means. When she got hit the people who witnessed it called 911 and an ambulance for UC-Health showed up. At this point I got a call as well and showed up on the scene, she did seem hurt but not badly and she was not interested in going into the ambulance with the EMT's because she didnt want to pay for a ride that was less than 2 minutes away from the hospital.

    However, they looked at her and said since shes been drinking that she must be admitted against her will. She agreed since she didnt want to argue with them and they took her to the hospital at which time she was charged over $15k.

    After she got out she called her car insurance company and they agreed to help pay for the bill a l little, and than her insurance company at the time said they will pay the bulk of it.

    Fast forward almost 2.5 years later and we get a call from UC-Health, the hospital that took her in, and they said that there was some kind of billing mistake? And that she owes them $2000+ which was her out of pocket maximum at the time.

    Now this is getting ridiculous, they have had every chance to figure out billing to begin with, they cant come back almost 3 years later and ask for more money.

    Do you know if we can sue them for billing errors? I told me wife to talk to the hospital and explain our situation and when she called they said that "she signed a document agreeing to care from the hospital."

    Well we just received a copy of this supposed document and it shows that it was signed by someone else that was not her at the hospital that authorized her treatment without her permission.

    Do you think we have a case here?
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Nope. Here's why.

    All you can do now is get an itemized bill and contact the medical insurance company that she had at the time of the accident and see if they will pay any of it.
     
    Zigner likes this.
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    She did not go against her will.
     
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  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Yes they can. Actually, they probably have even longer.

    Who signed it, and when? Why did she not sign herself? Is it because she was intoxicated?

    For what it's worth, you don't have to pay the hospital bill unless a court orders it. You could wait it out to see what action they take or look into bankruptcy if you truly don't have the money.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If she was under arrest, the arresting agency MIGHT be the responsible party.

    Talk to a couple local lawyers and see what you and she can learn.
     
  6. P1776

    P1776 Member

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    According to what you said, she agreed to go to the hospital, so you have no case. However, they probably will end up negotiating with you on the bill.
     
  7. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    That's only consent for the ambulance ride. That's not consent for all the things the hospital then does after she arrives there. So I disagree with your conclusion that the consent for the ambulance means she has "no case".
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Please explain the part that I highlighted. As written, it says that, upon arrival at the hospital, she was presented with a $15k bill. I assume that's not actually what happened. Rather, I assume that, after she arrived at the hospital, she received treatment of some sort and that, as a result of that treatment, she received a bill. Please clarify what treatment she received. Please also explain the extent to which this $15k bill was covered by her medical insurance.

    By the way, I'm also curious about your statement that your wife "was not drunk by any means." Were you present for any of the events described such that you have personal knowledge of her condition? Or are you just relying on her own assessment of her condition?

    This makes no sense. In the opening paragraph of your post, you told us that this accident happened "while [she was] walking back from the bars." If she was walking, her auto insurance should not provide any coverage.

    The hospital did "come back almost 3 years later and ask for more money," so it should be obvious that it can do this. Also, the time frame here keeps getting longer the further one reads into your post. In the opening paragraph, you told us that this happened "2 years ago." Then, three paragraphs later, you wrote that it happened "almost 2.5 years later." And now it's up to "almost 3 years later." So...when exactly did this happen?

    Anyone can sue anyone for anything. However, you have no standing because no legal wrong was done to you and you suffered no damages. Nor would your wife be successful because she has suffered no damages. If she thinks that the money is not due, she is free to tell the hospital to pound sand. The hospital may send the debt to collections and/or may sue her. If she gets sued, she can defend on whatever grounds she thinks are applicable. It's unclear what you mean when you refer to "billing errors," but the fact that it's now 2-3 years later is not a "billing error." Nor is it likely a valid basis for a defense.
     
  9. P1776

    P1776 Member

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    He said nothing about his wife refusing treatment once they arrived at the hospital so it's implied that she agreed to the treatment. No case..
     
  10. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You may be right...heck, you probably are right, but you will find that the attorney Tax Counsel takes nothing for granted. "Implied" does not mean "stated".
     
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  11. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    First, the fact that the OP didn't mention her refusing treatment does not mean that she didn't raise an objection once she got there. The OP may have just left that out, especially if he was not there to witness what occurred and thus not sure of what occurred. Second, silence does not automatically equate to consent or agreement. The details of exactly what occurred do matter. If she did not sign an agreement for treatment, she may indeed owe something for the treatment if she did not object to it, but that may be different from the billed charges that the hospital levied. It may instead be lower based on the reasonable value of the services to her, not whatever potentially inflated price tag the hospital chose to put on it.

    You have reached a conclusion based on assumptions and lacking all the facts. That's a good way to get things wrong. Before I could say whether she has any defense to the charges, I would need to know all the details; assumption won't cut it. I wouldn't litigate the matter based on incomplete facts and assumptions. And posters do a disservice to others here when they state definite conclusions without knowing all the relevant details.
     
  12. P1776

    P1776 Member

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    You are just creating facts and arguing for the sake of arguing. If he stated in his question that she refused treatment at the hospital, then she might have some recourse, but from a practical standpoint there is no case as i stated.
     
  13. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I would argue that you are the one creating facts. You have decided that because no mention was made either way in the OP, it is a fact that she did not refuse treatment. That is an opinion, not a fact.
     
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  14. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    I am not creating facts. I am looking only at the facts stated. The OP stated that his wife agreed to go the hospital in the ambulance. So that supports agreement for the ambulance bill. The OP did not say what his wife agreed to when she got to the hospital. You are making the logical fallacy that because he did not say she refused treatment that she must have agreed to treatment. As a matter of logic the failure to state a fact does not mean the opposite must be true. You have assumed something that is not yet stated: that she agreed to treatment after she got to the hospital. Maybe that assumption will turn out correct. But it also might not be correct. Because we do not yet know exactly what she agreed to it is premature to say conclusively, as you have done, that there is no case.
     

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