Tag Archives: medical bills

Accident Victims Benefit from The Affordable Health Care Act

Accident Victims Benefit from The Affordable Health Care Act

How do I pay my medical bills?Prior to 2010, a young adult without healthcare insurance who was injured by another driver would risk, at the very least, a lowered credit score and face possible bankruptcy if they and the defendant driver (the person responsible for the accident) were operating their motor vehicles with insufficient or no automobile insurance coverage. A recent study shows that young adults have benefited from the law allowing them to obtain health insurance on their parent’s healthcare policy up to the age of 26.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act has reduced the number of uninsured persons

Since The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act was enacted, approximately 16.4 million additional people have acquired health insurance coverage, according to a study published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This equates to a 35% reduction rate of uninsured. The majority of these newly insureds have been brought in through the healthcare Marketplace (a local, online healthcare shopping website), expansions in Medicare and young adults who are covered by their parent’s health insurance policies.

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most young people were separated from their parent’s health insurance policies after graduation from high school or completion of college. In 2010, the ACA provided for coverage of young people 19-25, by enabling them to stay on their parents’ policy. From the baseline in 2010 through the start of open enrollment in 2013, the uninsured rate of young people dropped from 34.1% to 26.7%, i.e. approximately 2,300,000 young adults ages 19-25 secured coverage through their parent’s policy. Through March 4, 2015, an additional 3.4 million young adults benefited from the ACA provision thereby totaling 5,700,000. These young adults may lawfully ride their parent’s policy regardless of marital status, residence, employer plan availability, financial independence and school status until they reach the age of 26.

Best Lawyers® Ward &  Ward Law Firm -Experienced in Accidents and Wrongful Death Claims

Charlie Ward is a personal injury attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana and represents people who have been injured in auto, motorcycle and truck accidents as well as pedestrian and bicycling accidents, medical malpractice and nursing home negligence claims. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, the attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm will help you navigate the subrogation matters that arise as a result of the claim. Call Indiana personal injury attorney Charlie Ward today for a free consultation at 317-639-9501.

By Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501

Recovering Medical Expenses for Personal Injuries or Wrongful Death and the Collateral Source Statute – Your Indianapolis, Indiana Auto, Motorcycle and Trucking Accident Lawyer

Indiana’s Collateral Source Statute bars over-recovery for medical billsCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Under Indiana law, the driver who is at fault for the injuries of another has a duty to pay for the injured party’s “reasonable” and “necessary” medical bills. But what is considered “reasonable and necessary?”

One method of proving reasonability is by introducing into evidence, the statement of charges for injuries received as a result of the accident from the health care provider. Indiana Evidence Rule 413 provides that such statements are admissible as evidence and “shall constitute prima facie evidence that the charges are reasonable.”

Indiana’s Collateral Source Statute prevents the Plaintiff from over-recovery—or recovering more than once—for a monetary loss sustained from personal injury or wrongful death.

IC 34-44-1 provides for allowing into evidence the following:

  • Proof of collateral source payments (i.e. medical payments made by health insurance providers or workers compensation for the benefit of the plaintiff)
  • Proof of the amount of money that the plaintiff is required to repay
  • Proof of the cost to the plaintiff or to members of the plaintiff’s family of collateral benefits received by the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s family

Exceptions to the collateral source rule include: life insurance or other death benefits, insurance benefits or premiums plaintiff or plaintiff’s family have paid for directly, or payments made by any agency, instrumentality, or subdivision of the state or the United States, i.e. defendant may not lessen their financial obligation for damages by introducing into evidence Plaintiff’s medical billing discounts or discounts provided to plaintiff as a benefit to the insured by the contract established between their health insurance carrier and their health provider. Americanbar.org states the following:

Indiana retains the common law principle that collateral source payments should not reduce a damage award if the payment resulted from the plaintiff’s own forethought, such as insurance purchased by the plaintiff or government benefits that the plaintiff has paid for through taxes.

Ward & Ward is a plaintiff’s law firm experienced in protecting the interests of personal injury victims and wrongful death claims. If you have been injured in an automobile, motorcycle, bicycle or trucking accident, I urge you to call me at 317-639-9501 for a free consultation at your earliest convenience.

Charlie Ward

[email protected]

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
(317) 639-9501

Understanding Your Accident-Related Medical Bills | Indianapolis Personal Injury Claim Attorney

An experienced personal injury lawyer will advise you about your medical billsCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

When you’re injured in an auto, motorcycle or trucking accident, a run to the hospital by ambulance, follow-up medical care and therapy can wreak chaos on your finances. An injury requiring a single trip to the hospital will likely generate separate billings from a number of unique healthcare providers as follows:

  • Ambulance
  • Hospital – ER/room charges, tests, blood work, drugs and supplies; may also include x-rays / imaging
  • ER Doctor – Diagnosis and recommendations
  • Radiology – Radiologist charges for reading films / images

Since every accident with injury requires a customized medical approach, your bills may not mirror the sample charges listed above.

As the bills begin to arrive in the mail, the first statement you’ll probably receive will come from the hospital provider and will reflect the total charges to date. If you have health insurance, you may be instructed “not to pay” from the first statement. This is an indication that they have forwarded the statement of charges to your health insurance company and together they will hash out the final charges based upon the contract between the provider and your insurance company.

Shortly thereafter you will either receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance company in the mail or one will be made available to you online. Your EOB will reflect the original provider charges minus a negotiated “discount” from your health insurance company. This reflects the amount reduced from your bill based upon the insurance company’s contracted rates for the unique services you received. At this time, your deductions will be reflected on your EOB as well as any split, you may have with your insurance provider, i.e. 80/20; 90/10, leaving you with the out-of-pocket charges owed to the medical provider.

It is important that you give your personal injury lawyer all EOB’s from your insurance company that reflect medical charges pertaining to the accident.

Your attorney will work to recover your out-of-pocket expenses on your behalf through the Collateral Source Statute, IC 34-44-1, allowing proof of the amount of money Plaintiff is required to repay into evidence. Your explanation of benefits will outline the amounts owed by you personally to the providers after all amounts have paid on your behalf and all discounts taken.

Experienced injury lawyers will advise you about your medical bills

The law firm of Ward & Ward has over 85 years of combined experience in breaking down the facts of a personal injury claim and working with insurance companies on behalf of their clients. If you have been injured in an automobile, trucking, motorcycle, or bicycle accident, please feel free to call me at
317-639-9501 for a free consultation.

If You Think Your Auto Insurance Protects Your Family From Personal Injury Damages—Think Again!

If you drive children to school, you should know about Indiana’s Guest Statute and how it may affect your family

Call personal injury and accident lawyer Charlie Ward today for a free consultation

I would like to explain how the Guest Statute law leaves you and your family unprotected from personal injury damages—not to panic you—but to inform you, your family and your friends. My hope is that you’ll take the information to heart, make thoughtful driving decisions, and then pass the information on. The erroneous assumption that you, your children and other family members are fully covered for personal injuries by your auto insurance policy gives you a false sense of peace. When you purchased your automobile policy, I doubt very much that your agent informed you of Indiana’s Guest law.  Read the statute at Indiana Code 34-30-11 and you’ll get the impression that the legislators are doing you a great favor by granting you—as owner/operator of your vehicle—immunity from injuries sustained by family members. As a matter of fact, the statute favors the far more powerful insurance industry.

What is the Guest Statute?

In essence, the Guest Statute states that a driving error on your part and the resulting damages, personal injuries and possible loss of life will not be covered by your automobile insurance policy if the injured passenger(s) is a family member, riding as a ‘guest’ —specifically a spouse, child, step-child, a sibling or a parent unless the owner, operator or person responsible for the operation of a motor vehicle is willfully or wantonly reckless in their driving conduct.

If you make an error in judgment

For example, you’re driving your son to school. The bell is about to ring, another late slip and your son serves a Saturday detention. Under pressure to get him to school on time, you’re resolved to make the left turn arrow—this time. Poor timing and a lapse of judgment causes a tragic accident by an oncoming car wherein both you and your son suffer catastrophic personal injuries. Your health insurance company may pick up the medicals. But if you don’t have health insurance… well, unfortunately hospitals are not charitable institutions. If you were solely responsible for the accident, the injuries suffered by the other driver, of course, would be covered by your own automobile insurance, perhaps to the policy limits. But your son’s injuries, possible future medicals, wage and loss damages, pain and suffering will not be honored under the same automobile liability policy that will protect the stranger. Good drivers occasionally make errors in judgment. The scenario described above could happen to any one of us at any time. Who do you think stands to benefit from the Indiana Guest Statute?

Collusion?

The insurance companies argue that the opportunity for you and your ‘guest’ passenger to join in collusion against the insurance company is too great a risk.  But the possibility of collusion and false claims should not preclude the substantive right of individual personal injury litigants to have a voice in a court of law, a right granted under the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution. Did the boy used in our example make that driving decision? Was he given a choice between a Saturday detention and the unintended consequence? The insurance companies have been heard—loud and clear. This law is tipped in their favor. Are your state representatives really looking after your family’s best interests?

Experienced personal injury attorneys

The law firm of Ward & Ward has over eighty years of legal experience with personal injury and wrongful death claims. Our firm receives no legal fees or expenses unless we collect damages on your behalf. Call Charlie Ward today for a free evaluation of your claim.