Irene Gabo on Rusa Radio 105.1 FM – January 29, 2020
I received bills from Medicare, which show a total of $9,000 which Medicare wants to be paid back? What do I do with it and do I have to pay it back?
Review the charges, by yourself or with your attorney to see which charges are related to the injuries and treatment you sustained in the accident for which Medicare is sending you a bill. If some charges are unrelated, have your attorney right a letter to Medicare to have those charges withdrawn and to ask for a reduction. The attorney should use the Medicare lien amount in his/her negotiations with the defendant as that amount (it may get reduced further) will have to be paid back to Medicare. Once there is a settlement offer, Medicare is notified to send what is called a “final demand”. That amount will have to be paid back out of your settlement share or out of defendants’ “med pay” policy.
My mom was hurt in an accident and cannot travel to be deposed. Her attorney says she must. Anything we can do?
These day there are many ways to be deposed, without having to go to court. The easiest is to have all parties gather at your mother’s place of residence and do the deposition there. There is also an option to do it by skype. If the defense attorney does not consent to either and the person is not able to travel, your attorney may need to make a motion to get permission to hold a deposition in her house or via skype. Court may require a letter from the client’s doctor that he/she is unable to travel.
My worker’s compensation carrier paid out $19,000.00 for my car accident treatment, they sent me a letter. Do I have to pay it back?
If WC paid for medical treatment or time out of work due to a car accident, for example you were a taxi driver involved in a car accident, that money need not be repaid to WC up to $50,000.00. That is one of the exceptions if the case is “in lieu of no fault”. Anything over $50,000.00 will likely get a 1/3 reduction on the sum owed, so for example, the lien is $62,000.00, the first $50,000.00 if it’s a car accident, will get waived and pay back will be $8,000.00 or 2/3 or remaining $12,000.00. If the injured person is a City employee there may be exceptions, for example, if he got paid by WC more for lost wages than $2,000.00 a month that no fault typically allows. In that case some amount will have to be paid back even if the accident stems from a car crash.
What do I do with bills/invoices and collection notices for medical bills that the insurance company mails to my house?
Your attorney is likely CC on these letters, but I would suggest typically sending them to your attorney or bringing them to him, to make sure nothing is lost/missing. A lot of times the treating provider needs your no fault insurance or other insurance information, so some of the letters will be exactly that, provider asking for insurance coverage. Those should not be thrown away or ignored. You or your attorney should call and provide the information without delay.
I have listened to your show for a while now, and wanted to see what you recommend an injured person do, after the accident, that would be important later?
It is very important to write down soon after the accident all the activities that the person has difficulty doing or can’t do at all. As time goes on, those activities become easier and they forget the trouble they had doing them, etc. Memories fade, they make adjustments, etc. but this will be one of the big 2 questions at your deposition and the answer is not “everything” you need to be more specific and itemize, so I think keeping a diary for yourself and just jot down things that you do which give you pain or you are unable to do.
I fell on the sidewalk in front of a building, but it was dark, and now I went back I don’t remember where I fell, exactly. Attorney tells me its very important to remember, but I cannot. Is there no case then?
It is important to know where and why you fell. If you can, take a photo of the defect with your cell phone at the scene. Or if that wasn’t done see if the building has video surveillance that can be viewed or preserved. Perhaps there were witnesses who can assist you.