There are lots of different ways.
The most obvious is to get the insurance company on the other side to pay more money.
A second way – one that is more and more necessary when liability insurance companies are looking at the bottom line – is to bargain down the amount that you owe out of the settlement at the end of the case. Most people owe money to either their doctors and health care providers, or to their insurance companies by way of subrogation, at the end of the lawsuit. Or maybe to both. The hospitals and the insurance companies are usually both willing to take a discount on the value of their claim – maybe 20%, maybe 33 %, maybe 50%.
Obviously, the less money the insurance company – or hospital – gets, the more you get.
Finally, a good lawyer checks significant bills before he pays them, and makes sure that they haven’t been written off. A lot of hospitals and other providers take the position that if someone hasn’t paid their bill a year after treatment, they are probably not a good collection prospect – so they stop trying to collect at all.
As you can guess, there can be a downside to this. Namely, whenever a creditor (a hospital; a doctor) is not paid in full, there is a danger that the bill will be reported to a credit service. You can condition the payment on the hospital agreeing to do this, but it’s tough to enforce.
With doctors, you probably don’t want to make them mad if you still need them to treat you. And they will probably get mad if you don’t pay them, or if you offer them a percentage of your bill in satisfaction of the whole amount.
All the same, most of my clients prefer to take the route of paying less – certainly with hospitals, as well as providers of services like Emergency Room Medical Treatment, xrays, anesthesia and ambulances.
If you want some idea on how to maximize the dollars you will get out of your settlement, call me, Bill Strubbe, a Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer. My phone is 513-621-4775. There is no charge for talking to me.
Other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.