What action can we take on a patient who owes us money and only needs to fill out his auto insurance accident paperwork to get us paid?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What action can we take on a patient who owes us money and only needs to fill out his auto insurance accident paperwork to get us paid?

We own a small chiropractic clinic. We have a patient who was in an auto accident and received care from us. He has not sent in his application for benefits paperwork to get us paid. He says he is going to but doesn’t. I spoke with his adjuster and she said he has to get it in within 2 weeks or she will deny the claim for non-compliance. He owes us $4,000. What action we can take quickly?

Asked on May 14, 2012 under Accident Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the patient, if he or she is late on ensuring payment is rendered, and, as you are filing the lawsuit, copy him on the papers.

If you provided treatment to him, you are legally entitled to be paid for it by the patient--even if he did not have, is not eligible for, or does not cooperate with his insurer, he has to pay. Insurance merely provides a source of funds and mechanism for payment. Therefore, once the patient is late (has not paid or arranged for payment by when an invoice is due), you could take legal action. If you sue the patient and also copy him on the paperwork, that may make him realize his potential liability and that he needs to submit his paperwork.

Alternatively, if you don't want to sue at this point--or there are no invoices currently in default (i.e. the patient still has time to pay), have a lawyer send him a letter, on lawfirm stationary, letting him know how much is owed and that if payment does not come from the insurer, you will  proceed against him. Again, that may motivate him to act.

Whatever you're going to do, see if it can't be done today or tomorrow, while he still has time to get his paperwork in.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption