Visitor Question

Negotiating medical bills from a car accident?

Submitted By: Jaspreet (San Jose, California)

On December 31 2016, my wife and I were travelling with my sister in law. She was driving. We were sitting in the back seat without seat belts. My sister in law missed the stop sign on an exit which was a T junction. The SUV hit the curb and went down the embankment about 40 feet.

As a result of this my wife broke her leg and her wrist and I suffered whiplash, 15 stitches on the chin and injuries to my elbow, shoulder and chest. My wife’s leg and hand were operated upon and plates were inserted. She was in the emergency room for 8 days and spent 3 weeks in rehab. Also didn’t go to work for four months.

We have a medical bill which was not covered for $158,000 and the auto insurance’s pain and suffering amount is $100,000.

How much can I negotiate with medical insurance? My wife still limps when walking. Also auto insurance has approved $52,000 in pain and suffering and have medical bill lien of $12,500. What can I do? Negotiate myself? Hire an attorney? How much will be the attorney fees? Thanks for any information you can provide.

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 Jaspreet,

Because of the seriousness of your injuries, and those of your wife, and the amount of medical bills and related expenses, there is no question. Yes! You both should seek the advice and counsel of several personal injury attorneys in your area.

Most personal injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. After visiting with several personal injury attorneys, they will be able to give you reliable opinions on the substance of your claims, an opinion of the amount of compensation you both may expect, and the duration of the negotiations.

Before visiting with the attorneys, gather copies of your medical records and medical bills, receipts for your out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, crutches, wheelchairs, etc.), and written confirmation from your respective employers verifying the amount of wages each of your lost while recovering form the accident.

Attorneys Fees

Most personal injury attorneys work on a “Contingency Fee” basis. This means they do not require clients to pay in advance any amount of legal fees or costs associated with their representation. Clients are only required to pay the attorneys if, and when they succeed in settling their cases, or winning them at trial. In the event they do not succeed, clients owe them nothing.

Typical attorney fees are 33.3 percent of their clients’ gross settlement or court award. These fees are relatively standard across the country. You can go online to find local personal injury attorneys, or contact the Santa Clara County Bar Association. They will provide you with a list of personal injury attorneys in your area.

Santa Clara County Bar Association
31 N 2nd St #4
San Jose, CA 95113

Learn more here: Negotiating Personal Injury Claims

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 with your claim,

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