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Who gets to keep the money if my attorney negotiates to pay a medical bill for less than owed?

Discussion in 'Auto Accidents, Injuries' started by thanks, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. thanks

    thanks Law Topic Starter Guest

    Jurisdiction:
    Texas
    Who gets to keep the money if my attorney negotiates to pay a medical bill for less than owed? He already paid me my settlement amount from an auto accident and said he'll take care of the unpaid medical bills. He said he wanted to do this because he will pocket the difference as additional revenue for him. The more I think about it I feel I already paid him a lot of money and this doesn't seem right. Thank you.
     
  2. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    You settled with your auto insurer, correct? Not the providers who treated you for injuries?
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Sheesh, when is enough not enough?
     
  4. thanks

    thanks New Member

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    Thanks for your replies. Yes, I settled with my auto insurer. Accident liability was assigned to the other driver and the other driver's insurer paid me a settlement. There were some unpaid medical bills (some have gone into collections, some haven't). Attorney paid me the settlement less his fee and less the unpaid medical bills and said he'd take care of paying the unpaid medical bills within 7-10 days and any reduction he could negotiate with them he would keep. He did give me the option of taking the extra money myself and taking responsibility for paying the bills but said he really wanted to do it. Now that I'm having second thoughts I guess I should just talk to him, but was just curious if this is normal for the industry or not. thanks again.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Yes, some attorneys do as yours suggests he wishes to do.

    I have never done it, but some folks are very greedy.
     
    thanks likes this.
  6. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure what this means and you should make this clear with your attorney. Typically the negotiation of medical bills is a part of the attorney's work on the case and there is a settlement based upon the medical bills. And if there is a reduction in the medical bills, what "part" of the unpaid bills is he keeping - he wants you to pay him part of the reduction?
     
  7. thanks

    thanks New Member

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    Thanks. He was going to keep the reduction. For example, med bill of $1500 and he was going to negotiate to pay $1000 to satisfy the debt and then keep $500 himself as additional fee. All this because he said he got me "my number" as the settlement and already cut me a check AND earlier in the process he and I negotiated that he'd accept a lower fee than normal. I think his rationale was since he previously agreed to take a lower fee, then subsequently negotiated a settlement that equaled something I was willing to accept, if he got to keep the med bill reductions he still wasn't going to earn more than his original fee. We eventually worked it out...I told him I didn't think it was right so he cut me a check for all the unpaid medical bills and then I signed something relieving him of responsibility of payment. Now I'm going to negotiate a reduction (hopefully) and keep the difference. Once I confronted him about it was was very agreeable and we parted on good terms. I sincerely appreciate the responses I received via this forum as it gave me more confidence to speak up about something that didn't seem right. Thanks again.
     
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  8. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Think about the math - that's a no win deal for you and I'd reject it. Tell him "thanks but no thanks" and then negotiate down the bills yourself. Any amount you negotiate down means you keep 100%. His negotiation down of the bills doesn't put one extra penny in your pocket.

    I wonder whether this kind of an arrangement is even proper and ethical. Bottom line is that I think you've done the right thing from a purely logical and dollars and sense perspective. Good luck!
     

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