What to do about a malpractice claim and an outstanding bill?

I had spine surgery 4 years ago. It didn’t go right and I had to have 2 more surgeries. I considered a malpractice lawsuit as it left me in pain. How long after the surgery am I obliged to pay my bill? I had insurance but have not paid anything since. It is a matter of pride to not pay them since they made the mistakes and left me in pain and with a big bill. What is the statute of limitations? What is the best way to deal with the hospital? Can I still sue for malpractice?

Asked on October 17, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Colorado

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for you and for your situation. Let's deal with the issues here one at a time. First the statute of limitations on medical malpractice.  Here is the law:

"Any medical malpractice action must be brought within two years after the date the injury and its cause were known or should have been known with the exercise of reasonable diligence. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 13-80-102.5 and 13-80-108 (West 1997). In no event may a medical malpractice action be brought more than three years after the act or omission that gave rise to the action, unless the malpractice was knowingly concealed, the act or omission consisted of leaving an unauthorized foreign object in the body of the claimant, or both the physical injury and its cause are not known or could not have been known through the exercise of reasonable diligence. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-80-102.5 (West 1997)."

I think that the statute may have run in your case but I would double check with an attorney in your area as it is fact specific at times.  Now, as for the bill, you state  here that you had insurance, correct?  So why was it not submitted through insurance then?  Contact your state Department of Insurance for help here.  Good luck.


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