What to do if I am being taken to court for my daughter’s medicle bills?

UPDATED: May 2, 2012

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What to do if I am being taken to court for my daughter’s medicle bills?

I was contacted today by someone who told me they are going to garnish our wages. We don’t make have very much income. We don’t know what to do.

Asked on May 2, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your daughter was a minor when she received the medical treatment, or if she were an adult but you made yourself responsible for her bills in some way (e.g. she was on your insurance plan; you signed a document at the hospital stating you would take responsibility for her bills; etc.), then you are liable for these bills. The medical care provider or their collections agency can sue you if you  do not pay (or work out some payment plan with them that they find acceptable); and if you are sued and lose, one way they can secure payment is to garnish your wages.

If your daughter was an adult, had either her own insurance or no insurance, and you did not sign anything agreeing to take responsibility for her bills, then you should not be liable. A person does not become liable for another adult's obligations or costs simply because they are parent-child.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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