Who pays for my doctors? Will I owe money to my doctors at the end of my case?
When you are physically injured in New York, the cause of the injury is never a priority at the immediate moment. Most times, you are more concerned with ensuring that you see a doctor for treatment.
If the cause of the accident was negligence and you file a suit, your personal injury lawyer will probably work out an arrangement with the hospital to allow you pay the bills after the case. The agreement between you and your doctor will include a clause where you acknowledge your debt.
However, the arrangement above works on the assumption that you will receive a fair compensation after the case is through. The question that is then asked is, what if you lose the case, who will pay your medical bills?
The Standard Method
The procedure for pursuing a negligence case starts with your personal injury lawyer filing a suit against the negligent party, after which a date is set. On the said date, the plaintiff and the defendant are expected to appear in court. The case is then tried by a judge and jury.
After scrutinizing the facts, listening to witnesses, and examining the evidence, the jury will deliberate and decides whether or not the defendant was negligent and if their carelessness resulted in your injury.
If the jury decides the case in your favor, you get compensation from the guilty party. If not, you have to work out a way to pay your medical bills.
The Options If You Lose a Personal Injury Case
If you lose the case, you have the following options:
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of a case, the American legal system allows you to file an appeal. Normally, you are given a set number of days within which your personal injury attorney is expected to file an appeal. If such a period expires before the appeal is filed, you lose your chance at it.
During the appeal, the court reviews what happened during the proceedings and takes notes of errors, if any, were made. If there was an error that led to the ruling against you, the appeals judge will reverse the decision made by the previous court. If there was no error, the decision stays.
However, if there is the option for a new trial, your personal injury attorney might advise you of it. The main difference between an appeal and a new trial is that the latter is concerned with the court’s application of the law. A judge’s job in an appeal is to find if there was an error during the previous proceedings that might have led to the decision that was given. There is no jury here. In a new trial, you will be allowed to introduce new evidence and interview fresh witnesses. This will be presented before a judge and jury.
If the appeal or a new trial does not work, you can proceed to the next option.
b) Health Insurance
In an ideal situation, you need to have health insurance. If you lose your personal injury case, the doctor can file the necessary papers to get your insurance company to cater for your medical bills. However, if your health bills exceed your insurance limit, you will be required to pay the extra amount.
If you do not have health insurance, you will be required to pay the bills either in a single installment or bits. Most health institutions understand that you may not be able to clear your bills in a single instance. You can then work a payment plan with them to pay the medical bill. Alternatively, if you can clear your bill in one go, you can look into any kind of discount offered.
In an extreme case where you cannot afford to pay your doctor, you can file for bankruptcy. This step allows you to liquidate your assets, pay off creditors, and discharge all remaining debts. Depending on the specifics of your situation and the state of your assets, you can be cleared of any debt and start a fresh financially.
However, if you lose your case, there are options you can use to pay your medical bills. You can have your health insurance make the payments, do it in cash or, in extreme cases, file for bankruptcy.