Visitor Question

Records of hospital bills paid?

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

Once a settlement is reached from a personal injury, what all should you get from the lawyer? For example, if the lawyer pays the medical bills, insurance, etc. from the settlement, will I get receipts or papers showing where the money went, what the lawyer received, and the balance?

What all do I need to get from the lawyer before taking the check and leaving? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Your attorney should give you what we call a Complete Accounting.

This document will break down what is deducted from the total settlement such as attorney’s fees and out-of-pocket expenses (otherwise known as hard costs) expended by the attorney or firm.

These are costs such as filing fees, service of process, medical records and police report fees, for example. Often an attorney will negotiate medical bills and may even have signed liens with medical providers guaranteeing that those medical bills will be paid. If this is the case, your attorney is legally obligated to also pay your medical bills.

Regardless, you should get a breakdown that explains where the money is going as well as what your final sum shall be. You will also want to get proof of a zero balance from each and every one of the bills that your attorney paid on your behalf. Technically, the attorney should pay him or herself last, but this is not always the case. The most important thing is that the bills your lawyer claims to pay actually get paid.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 29, 2010

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