What comes after the settlement? The release and repayment obligations.
Once A Settlement Is Accepted, Your Rights Are Gone.
If you were able to negotiate a reasonable settlement with the insurance company, the insurance company will ask you to sign a “release” before sending you a settlement check. A release is an agreement between you and the insurance company and whoever they represent (the at-fault driver, owner of the vehicle, etc.). You must read the release carefully. By signing the release, you are agreeing to accept the settlement money and, in exchange, are agreeing to: (1) give up whatever claims you have (or may have in the future) against the other parties; and (2) pay your own bills out of the settlement proceeds. The release may also require you to: (3) keep the settlement confidential; and (4) pay (“indemnify”) the insurance company if a third party (for instance, Medicare or your health insurer) files a claim against them for reimbursement.
In some cases, the settlement check may even say “Full and Final” in the memo line, meaning that by signing and depositing it, you are giving up any rights you may have against that party.
Is The Settlement Money All Mine?
Probably not. Once you receive the settlement check, you may have a lot of mouths to feed, and I’m not talking about family members. You will likely need to reimburse any third parties who have paid medical bills on your behalf, such as Medicare, Medicaid, or your health insurance company. These bills can usually be negotiated down.
Also, in some cases, the law does not require you to repay your health insurer at all, but this depends on a number of factors, including the amount of your settlement and the type of health insurance you have.
The bottom line is, don’t forget to take care of any repayment responsibilities you may have. If you do, this will catch up with you later in the form of bill collectors, and by that time, the at-fault insurance company will be long gone.
Our Services Go Beyond The Settlement.
Our job doesn’t stop once a case is settled. Thereafter, we work hard for our clients in order to keep them compliant with their health insurer, including Medicaid and Medicare. In most cases, we are able to negotiate reimbursement interests in order to save our clients money.
Handling a personal injury case can be very complicated. If you think you may need help, please give us a call today to schedule a free consultation. Whether your accident happened in St. Tammany Parish (Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom) or anywhere in the New Orleans Metro area, we are here for you. Contact us today at (985) 590-6182