What to do if my son got hit by a car and the bills are gigantic but the driver that hit him provided a bad insurance card and now I’m in debt?

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What to do if my son got hit by a car and the bills are gigantic but the driver that hit him provided a bad insurance card and now I’m in debt?

My son is now OK.

Asked on January 15, 2013 under Personal Injury, Florida

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There are several things you can do.  First, call the State Attorney's office in your area, tell them about the false insurance card, and ask for help.  Giving a false insurance card is a crime in Florida.  Also ask if there is any victim's compensation fund that could help with the medical bills.

Second, do you have auto insurance?  Do you carry uninsured motorist's insurance?  Your personal injury protection (PIP) or uninsured motorist's insurance may cover this, even if your son was a pedestrian.

Third, is there any medical insurance that will cover your son's bills?

Fourth, is your son eligible for Medicaid to cover the bills?

If none of the above provides any help, then you should understand that you do not necessarily owe the amount of the bills.  Your son (or you if your son is a minor) owe a reasonable fee to his medical providers.  There is no clear rule for what constutes a reasonable fee, but the amounts billed are almost always much much much higher than Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance would ever pay.  The Florida PIP statute would not allow providers to collect the amount they undoubtedly billed you.  You may be able to take advantage of the PIP provisions (they are relatively new and untested), negotiate with the providers for a reduced bill (such as the amount Medicare would have paid - this will be 25% or less of the billed amount), or take advantage of the provider's charity rules (especially for hospitals).

I hope this helps.  Good luck.


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