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May 19, 2024 | Personal Injury

Expert Guide on Negotiating Medical Bills After Settlement

Navigating medical bills post-settlement can be a daunting task for personal injury victims.

With the potential complexities involved, enlisting the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best solution for negotiating medical bills after a settlement effectively, ensuring fair outcomes, and alleviating the financial burden on the injured party. From understanding billing codes to advocating for reduced charges, this guide provides invaluable insights to help individuals secure the best possible outcome in managing their medical care and expenses after a personal injury settlement.

Understanding Medical Bills in Personal Injury Cases

In personal injury cases, medical bills typically fall into two categories:

  • Pre-settlement: Encompass the medical expenses incurred by the injured party prior to reaching a settlement or verdict. They include costs such as hospitalization, surgeries, diagnostic tests, medications, and rehabilitation services.
  • Post-settlement bills: Refer to medical expenses that accrue after a settlement or verdict has been reached. These may include ongoing treatments, follow-up appointments, and additional therapies needed for recovery.

Additionally, health insurance plays a significant role in managing medical costs. Health insurance coverage can help offset the costs of medical treatment, but subrogation also plays a part. Subrogation occurs when the health insurance provider seeks reimbursement for medical expenses paid on behalf of the injured party from the settlement or verdict amount.

Can a Lawyer Get a Reduction on a Medical Bill?

Yes, lawyers can often negotiate reductions on medical bills. They can utilize various strategies such as negotiating with healthcare providers, challenging excessive charges, or invoking state laws regulating medical billing. Experienced personal injury lawyers are skilled in negotiating lower medical bills to maximize their clients' compensation.

As you might have noticed already, this can be an incredibly difficult area to manage, especially after being injured. This makes hiring a New York City personal injury lawyer vital to negotiate your medical bills on your behalf. Come and see how our team may be able to help you!

The Negotiation Process

The negotiation process can be complex, especially when it comes to medical bills. From pre-treatment discussions to post-settlement negotiations, understanding the ins and outs of negotiation strategies can be tricky. Let's explore the key aspects of the negotiation process and how they apply to managing medical expenses effectively.

Pre-Treatment Negotiation:

  • Patients can proactively engage in discussions with healthcare providers regarding treatment costs before undergoing procedures, seeking to negotiate fees, or requesting discounts based on their financial situation or insurance coverage.
  • Exploring various payment options, such as cash payments, payment plans, or financial assistance payment agreements offered by healthcare facilities, can help patients mitigate the financial impact of medical expenses before treatment.
  • Requesting detailed, itemized cost estimates from healthcare providers for planned procedures allows patients to review and compare expenses, identify potential areas for cost-saving measures, and inquire about any unclear or excessive charges included in the estimates.

Post-Settlement Bills:

  • Upon receiving a settlement for their personal injury claim, individuals should thoroughly review their medical bills to ensure accuracy and identify any outstanding balances owed to healthcare providers.
  • Contacting healthcare providers directly to discuss outstanding medical bills and negotiate reductions based on the settlement amount can help patients effectively manage their post-settlement expenses.
  • Patients may consider seeking legal assistance from experienced personal injury attorneys if they encounter challenges or disputes during the negotiation process, as legal professionals can provide guidance, advocate on behalf of the patient, and ensure fair billing practices are upheld throughout the negotiation process.

Additional reading: what happens when you reject an insurance settlement offer

Key Strategies for Negotiating Medical Liens After Settlement

Navigating medical liens after settling a personal injury claim can be complex, but there are effective strategies to help manage them.

  • Documentation: Keeping meticulous records of all medical treatments and expenses is essential for negotiating medical liens after settlement. These records serve as evidence of the services provided and the associated costs, helping to justify any negotiated reductions.
  • Negotiating with Providers: When negotiating with healthcare providers, approach them professionally and respectfully. Explaining your situation, expressing your willingness to pay, and asking for discounts or reduced bills can often result in more favorable outcomes.
  • Understanding Insurance Coverage: Understanding your insurance coverage, including health insurance, auto insurance, and personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, is key. Knowing what is covered and how to navigate the claims process can help you maximize your benefits and minimize out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Dealing with Liens: Liens placed on settlement proceeds by healthcare providers or insurers can complicate negotiations. It's important to understand the terms of any liens and work towards resolving them. Negotiating with lienholders for reduced amounts or establishing payment plans can help alleviate the financial burden associated with liens.

By how much can lawyers reduce medical bills

Lawyers can often negotiate reductions in medical bills, but the amount varies depending on various factors such as the specific circumstances of the case, the healthcare provider's policies, and the terms of the settlement.

Generally, attorneys aim to secure the maximum reduction possible to minimize their clients' financial burden and maximize their compensation.

How long will the negotiations take?

How long will the negotiations take?

The duration of negotiations for medical bill reductions can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the willingness of healthcare providers to negotiate, and the amount of outstanding medical debt.

In some cases, negotiations can be relatively quick and resolved within a few weeks, while more complex cases may take several months to reach a resolution. It's essential to remain patient throughout the process and trust your attorney's expertise in navigating the negotiation process to achieve the best possible outcome.

Additional reading: statute of limitations for personal injury in New York

Additional Tips and Considerations

Sorting out medical bills after a personal injury settlement can be daunting, but there are additional tips and considerations to help you manage the process more effectively. These insights can provide valuable guidance and support as you work towards resolving outstanding medical expenses.

  • Seeking Financial Assistance: Research available programs and resources that can offer additional financial support, such as government assistance programs, charitable organizations, or crowdfunding platforms. These resources can help alleviate financial burdens associated with medical bills and other expenses.
  • Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney: Consider hiring a personal injury attorney who specializes in negotiating medical bills. An experienced lawyer can navigate the complexities of the negotiation process, advocate on your behalf, and ensure that you receive fair treatment from healthcare providers and insurers. They can also provide valuable guidance on legal matters and help you understand your rights and options throughout the negotiation process.

Come and see how the expertise of our team here at Ajlouny Injury Law can help reduce the cost of your medical providers' bills and maximize your claim and settlement money

How New York State's Laws Impact This Process

New York State laws provide robust protections and specific procedures for negotiating medical bills, especially after a personal injury settlement. Here are some key points:

  1. Protection Against Medical Debt Collection: New York has implemented laws to protect patients from aggressive medical debt collection practices. Notably, healthcare providers are prohibited from placing liens on a patient's primary residence or garnishing wages to collect on medical debt. This was reinforced by legislation signed by Governor Kathy Hochul, which aims to prevent financial distress caused by medical debt collection practices​.
  2. No Surprises Act: Under the federal No Surprises Act, which New York fully enforces, patients are protected from surprise medical bills for emergency services and certain non-emergency services provided by out-of-network providers at in-network facilities. This means patients are only responsible for in-network cost-sharing amounts. If a patient receives a surprise bill, they have the right to dispute it through a patient-provider dispute resolution process​.
  3. Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR): New York offers an Independent Dispute Resolution process for patients who feel they have been unfairly billed, especially if they did not receive a good faith estimate of costs. This process allows patients to challenge bills that exceed the estimates significantly and requires providers to give detailed information about expected charges and the network status of providers involved in the patient's care.

In New York and Need Expert Guidance?

If you're facing medical bills after a personal injury and unsure how to proceed with negotiations, don't hesitate to reach out for a consultation. Our team is here to help guide you through the process and discuss your options for potentially reducing your medical expenses.

During the consultation, we'll review the details of your case, assess the extent of your injuries, and provide personalized advice on how to approach negotiations with healthcare providers or insurers. By taking this proactive step, you can gain clarity on your situation and make informed decisions about your next steps.

Don't let medical bills overwhelm you – contact us today to schedule your consultation and get the assistance you need to move forward confidently.

Key takeaways

Effectively negotiating medical bills is vital for maximizing the benefit of a settlement in a personal injury case. By reducing medical expenses, you can retain more of your settlement funds to cover other essential costs and ensure a smoother recovery process.

Remember to document all medical treatments and expenses, explore financial assistance programs if needed, and consider hiring a personal injury attorney to guide you through the negotiation process. With careful planning and proactive communication, you can achieve favorable outcomes and alleviate the financial burden associated with your injury.


Who pays for medical bills for a car accident in NY?

In New York, medical bills for a car accident are typically covered by the insurance company of the at-fault driver. However, if you have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, your own insurance may cover medical expenses, regardless of fault.

Is New York state a MedPay state?

No, New York is not a MedPay state. However, drivers in New York can purchase optional medical payment coverage as part of their auto insurance policy. MedPay helps cover medical expenses for yourself and your passengers, regardless of fault in an accident.

Does NY have accident forgiveness?

Yes, some insurance companies in New York offer accident forgiveness programs. These programs may forgive your first at-fault accident, preventing your insurance rates from increasing as a result. However, eligibility and terms vary between insurance providers.

Is New York state a no-fault accident state?

Yes, New York is a no-fault accident state. In no-fault states like New York, each driver's insurance pays for their own medical bills and other economic losses, regardless of who caused the accident. This system aims to streamline the claims process and reduce litigation related to car accidents.

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