Is it lawful for a chiropractor to charge interest on an auto injury settlement case?

4 years ago my wife was injured in a car accident and received care from a
chiropractor who signed a lien with our attorney and ourselves to collect his
payment from our legal case. The accident happened out of state so we had to
hire lawyers to settle the case. We have now received our final settlement and
we owe 10,000 to the chiropractor. He has informed our lawyers since he was
not given assurances that he was going to be paid all along the way that he is
charging us an extra 5000 in interest and fees. He filed a ucc lien on my
wife in the meantime without any stated amount. We want to pay our bill of
10,000. Is it lawful for him to charge this interest? Our lawyers out of
state claim that his original bill of 10,000 was an overcharge in the first
place as the average chiropractic visit is around 65 a session we were being
charged three times that. Is there a way to sue the chiropractor to make him
prove his charges are reasonable?

Asked on March 20, 2017 under Accident Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is legal if--
1) The contract, service agreement, terms of service, etc. with the chiropractor indicated that there would be inteest on unpaid bills, or that he could charge you collection costs on unpaid bills. If such was in a contract, or if you had notice of it (e.g. it was on their website and/or in a sign in their office) so that by using them with notice of the policy, you could be held to have implicitly agreed to it, then they can charge you interest or fees in accordance with the policy of which you had notice. In these case, you are considered to have contractually agreed to these amounts.
2) If they sued you for the money and won, but you still didn't pay promptly: then the legal system will let them get "post-judgment interest" starting with when the judgment was granted; the court might also have awarded legal fees.
But without your express or at least implied agreements to terms of which you were put on notice, or a court order/judgment, they are not entitled to interest or fees.


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