We have seen this happen quite frequently with huge personal injury law firms in major cities and clients that live in remote areas. There are many reasons doctors in these remote regions don’t want to work with attorneys from the “big city”. In some cases, doctors will try and steer you away from the big city attorneys, saying they won’t or do not work with them because they don’t pay.
A doctor’s primary focus needs to be the patient, not the payment. However, after he has not been paid or reduced his bill to such a low amount by the same attorney, it’s hard to swallow. An attorney might have a hard time finding a doctor in a remote area that will treat his patients.
The doctor won’t see me because of the attorney I retained.
A doctor who will not see you because of the lawyer you chose should tell you a little bit about the lawyer. A good lawyer will always make sure a doctor’s bill will get paid. It’s good business for the Attorney to pay the doctor because the doctor in turn might send the attorney some business in the future.
Large Law Firms
Large firms who do heavy advertising rely on that advertising for business. And, in some cases they do not pay the doctor or reduce his bill to such a low amount, it would have been better for him to write it off as a loss. Smaller firms tend to want to establish relationships with doctors in any areas for which their firm can service. They do a great job presenting clients and work with the doctors to get the bills paid.
Reasons why your doctor won’t work with your personal injury attorney
Some Attorneys will take the med pay and then try to negotiate the Doctors bill to a lower amount.
The first time this happens to a doctor that treats auto accidents will be the last time he ever treats a patient from that attorney’s office. We have a hard time believing this is even legal. Med Pay or medical payments was designed to pay a patient’s medical expenses up to a certain dollar amount specified in the auto policy. It does not pay legal fees; it pays medical treatment for auto accident victims. What some attorneys will do is collect the med pay, put it into the trust account.
Attorneys let the patient take the Med Pay
This may be the insurance company’s fault. Insures sometimes will cut a Med Pay check directly to the policy holder. If the patient does not bring the check to the doctor’s office, the doctor will not be paid. That patient may have just bought a new flat screen TV with money that was supposed to go to the Doctor. The attorney should be brought into the loop on checks for medical care that go directly to the client.
Negotiate Doctors Bills that have an attorney’s lien.
In some cases, an attorney may negotiate with medical providers to reduce the outstanding medical bills as part of the settlement process. This can help maximize the amount of money the client receives from the settlement. The attorney may then use a portion of the settlement funds to pay the reduced medical bills directly to the providers.
They will try to negotiate the doctors bill to a lower rate, sometimes as low as 25% of the original bill, and then add the balance back into the settlement for the attorney and client to split. We are not sure how this is legal but have seen it done many times. I’m sure the attorney view on it is they are putting more money in the clients’ pockets and making them happy, but at the same time they are lining their own pockets with money that should have been paid to the doctor who performed the services.
There are plenty of good personal injury attorneys who do not do this. Not all large law firms practice this, but most of the time when it happens, it does come from a larger firm.
The attorney won’t pay medical bills out of settlement.
Attorneys can sometimes pay medical bills out of a settlement, depending on the specific circumstances and agreements made between the attorney, client, and medical providers. However, it’s important to note that the details and procedures for paying medical bills from a settlement can vary based on factors such as the jurisdiction, the nature of the case, and the attorney-client agreement.
Doctors who won’t treat you because of the attorney you have retained should tell you a lot about the attorney. They are not going to put their time and effort into seeing a patient for 4-8 weeks and not be compensated for it. Doctors just like attorney’s offices have overhead and employees they must pay. When you have an attorney who won’t pay the bill, why would a doctor want to see his clients.
Attorneys give the money for medical care to the client.
If the attorney tries to negotiate the medical bills with the doctor and can’t reach an agreement, he may just give the money for medical care to the patient. Furthermore, he may even add it to the total settlement and then take his cut from the medical as well.
It’s essential for clients to discuss the specific details of their case, including the payment of medical bills, with their attorney. They should also review and understand the terms of their attorney-client agreement to ensure they are clear about how medical bills will be handled in the settlement process.
We get emails from time to time from patients seeking a doctor that they have already retained a lawyer. The lawyer should have handled this but did not. One of the reasons might be because no doctors in the client’s area will work with that attorney to see his client, so who suffers in the long run, the client or patient does.
They either must drive further for medical care or come out of pocket to see a doctor close to them all because their personal injury lawyer at one time or another would not do the right thing and pay the doctor’s bill.
If you need to find a doctor close to you that treats auto accidents, use our zip code search function in the upper right-hand corner of every page on our website. If you don’t have an attorney, speak with your accident doctor about it, im sure they can recommend a few that can do a wonderful job.