You just had a motorcycle accident. You go home from the ER at the hospital and you’re in pain. Now you’re in real pain when you receive a shocking hospital bill for $28,000!
If you don’t pay the hospital bill, the hospital may file a lawsuit and if you don’t hire a lawyer to defend you, the hospital’s lawyers will look to garnish your wages. But that doesn’t have to happen!
- 1 What Not to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
- 2 Why Going Home to Avoid the Hospital Is a Bad Idea
- 3 Why Hospital Bills Are Confusing
- 4 What to Do When You Receive Hospital Bills
- 5 What We Do to Stop Collection
- 6 What We Do to Fight Hospital Bills
- 7 What about Doctor Bills For Medical Treatment after the Hospital?
What Not to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
- Don’t limp home to avoid a bill for going to the hospital!
- Don’t ignore hospital bills, tell your accident lawyer immediately.
- If you get collection letters from the hospital, tell your accident lawyer immediately.
- If you are served with lawsuit papers from the hospital, tell your accident lawyer immediately!
Why Going Home to Avoid the Hospital Is a Bad Idea
We often have motorcycle accident clients who refuse to go to the hospital by ambulance and instead go home from the accident. This is a bad idea because:
- At the accident scene, you often won’t know how seriously injured you are because it can take up to 48 hours for the pain to begin. Delaying diagnosis and treatment can cause more serious injuries and even death.
- Your accident case is worth more money and can settle faster if you go to the hospital by ambulance from the accident scene. We can deal with the hospital bill later and the driver who caused your accident will probably be responsible to pay it.
- Some motorcyclists had injuries more serious than they thought and had to go to the hospital anyway, either later that day or the next day.
- You’ll get into the hospital immediately when the ambulance brings you in. If you go on your own, you can sit in the waiting room for as long as 5-8 hours or more!
Why Hospital Bills Are Confusing
You may receive several different types of hospital bills
- Summary bill
- Itemized bill
- Billing statement
You may receive different hospital bills from different billers
If you were only in the Emergency Room:
- The hospital bill will include the use of the emergency room and nursing services.
- The radiology department may submit their own bill for x-rays and CT scans.
- Doctors in the Emergency Room will each submit their own bill for physician services.*
- You may receive an ambulance bill from the ambulance service.
If you were admitted to the hospital:
- The hospital bill usually includes the ER room, room, food, nursing services, pharmacy, and operating room expenses. It may also include laboratory fees.
- The radiology department will often submit their own bill for x-rays and CT scans.
- Doctors who provide treatment will submit their own bill for physician services.*
*You may receive many separate invoices from hospital physicians like emergency room physicians, anesthesiologists, pathologists, and radiologists. In addition to the cost of the x-ray or CT scan, the radiologist who reads your x-ray will send a bill for physician services for reading the scan.
After you leave the hospital, you may see a doctor at a private office or you may go back to the hospital clinic to see a doctor. If you see a doctor at the hospital after you have left the hospital, the hospital will send you a separate bill for outpatient billing for physician services at the time of your appointment. You may also receive separate invoices for diagnostic tests, radiology, and lab fees.
If you need care at home after release from the hospital, you will receive a separate bill for services and/or products provided in the home, including visiting nurses, home health aide, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapist or social worker, IV therapy and home medical equipment.
Why you don’t know what the hospital is billing you for
The hospital only sends you a Summary bill. They won’t send you an Itemized bill unless you request it. Even when you request it, they usually just send you another copy of the Summary bill. This happens to us all the time. The hospital doesn’t want you to see the Itemized bill because that’s what you’ll find out what they are really charging you for!
What hospitals don’t want you to see in their itemized bill
Hospitals are very creative with their billing and may charge fraudulent fees. The emergency room bill is sometimes reasonable but usually is not. Sometimes, we see a hospital billing $1,100 for the emergency room but we often see emergency room bills as much as $6,000-$28,000 when they should have been $1,100.
Hospital bills get real interesting when you are admitted. If you look at your itemized hospital bill, you may find that you have been charged hundreds of dollars of fraudulent charges for a disposable mucus recovery device (box of tissues) and/or thermal therapy (a bag of ice); oral administration fee (a nurse handing you pills); Etc.
What to Do When You Receive Hospital Bills
If you haven’t been injured in an accident and do not have an accident attorney, see Medical & Hospital Billing Errors at HURT911®
If you have been injured in an accident, call an accident lawyer immediately and ask if the lawyer will represent you for your hospital bill.
If we are representing you for your injuries, we will make sure that all collection efforts are stopped and if you are sued, we will represent you. We will have your hospital bill reviewed to negotiate a reduction. Call us now 7 days/nights for a free consultation at 1-800-HURT-911 1-800-487-8911.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or any other type of accident, make sure your accident attorney knows that you are being billed by the hospital.
Why you should tell your accident lawyer about collection letters even if you have insurance
This is an example of what can happen when you don’t tell your accident lawyer that the hospital is sending you collection letters or suing you.
Our client broke a rib in a motorcycle accident and was taken to Winthrop Hospital by ambulance. The emergency room bill was $28,000 but our client had health insurance so he didn’t have to pay for the bill.
Unfortunately, the hospital was trying to bill his “no-fault” insurance for over a year but motorcyclists in New York do not have no-fault insurance so the hospital should have been billing his regular health insurance provided by his employer.
Our client ignored requests from the hospital to provide his insurance information and then later ignored letters from the hospital’s collection agency.
Eventually, the hospital filed a lawsuit against our client but our client never responded to the lawsuit and never notified us. The hospital got a default judgment against our client and garnished his salary. He didn’t even know the money was taken out of his checking account and checks for his car and apartment bounced. That’s when our client notified us!
We submitted his hospital bill to his health insurance company but they denied it because it was submitted too late.
Because our client was personally served with the hospital lawsuit papers, we could not reopen the lawsuit and the hospital was unwilling to negotiate the $28,000 hospital bill. The best we could do was to get the hospital to unfreeze his checking account and agree to wait until his motorcycle accident case was settled.
If our client had notified us of the collection letters, we could have stopped those letters and they probably would not have filed a lawsuit. Even if they did file a lawsuit, we could have fought it for him. We probably would have been able to settle the hospital bill for as little as $1,600 paid out of our client’s motorcycle accident settlement if our client had notified us of the collection letters.
What We Do to Stop Collection
We will immediately send a letter to the collection agency advising the collection agency that we represent you and to stop contacting you.
What We Do to Fight Hospital Bills
We can have your hospital bills reviewed by a hospital billing review service to remove fraudulent charges, unnecessary charges, and overcharges. See the hospital bill cost review report and the settlement letter for the example case below.
Example of a hospital bill we settled:
Hospital: NYU Winthrop University Hospital
Collection Agency: POM Recoveries
Amount of ER Hospital Bill: $6,676.99
Report of Hospital Bill Review Showed a reasonable amount to be: $1,667.20
Settlement With Collection Agency: $1,152
Motorcycle accident case settled for client: $100,000
Legal Fee: $33,333.33
Net Amount to Client After Legal Fee: $66,666.67
Amount Client Would Have Received If the Hospital Bill Was Paid: $59,989.68
Cost of Hospital Bill Review Report: $500
Amount Client Received Because the Hospital Bill Was Reduced: $65,014.67
Amount We Saved Our Client: $5,024.99
See the Hospital Collection Agency Settlement Letter
What about Doctor Bills For Medical Treatment after the Hospital?
If you have a motorcycle accident and don’t have medical insurance, that’s not a problem. We can ask your doctor to bill you on a “lien”.
This means that we will pay the doctor at the end of your accident case from your settlement money. You’ll be able to get the medical treatment you need and you won’t have to worry about making payments or receiving collection letters!
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Motorcycle Attorney Phil Franckel talks about how motorcycle accidents are different
Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Franckel is well-known in New York for representing motorcyclists and created the motorcycle awareness campaign BE AWARE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE®.
Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Robert began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.