Willa hospital sue me, if I keep refusing to pay the hospital bill?

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Willa hospital sue me, if I keep refusing to pay the hospital bill?

I did claim the bill, because the hospital treated me in a very unprofessional way and didn’t help me with my medical issues. I’m sicker than ever. I keep refusing to pay. But I’m wondering if they will sue me? I didn’t take any legal action against them yet, but am considering to do so. Just wondering what happens if I keep not doing anything at all. I’m not an American citizen.

Asked on April 21, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

WILL the hospital sue you? That depends on whether they think the amount owed is worth the trouble, cost, etc. of a lawsuit...though they also have the option of turning the matter over to a collections agency, who generally are much more willing to take action (that's what they do, after all).

CAN the hospital or its collections agency sue you? Yes. The law is clear that if you received services but did not pay for them, you can be sued. That you consider the services "unprofessional" does not enable you to not pay--if you simply did not receive what you were charged for (e.g. they are charging for a test you never actually received) that woud be a different matter, but "unprofessional" does not absolve of the obligation to pay. (Though it may give you grounds to file a complaint with the appropriate licensing agency.)

As for the fact that you are "sicker than ever"--there are  no guarantees in medicine; often, people do not respond to initial treatment, or at all. However, they still have to pay for the treatment, except possibly in the case of actual malpractice. But malpractice is actually negligent practice--it's not simply that you did not get better.


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