You’ve been in a car wreck and you have medical bills stacking up. You may have health insurance that covers the bills, or you may be uninsured. In either case, is the full amount of your full medical bills recoverable if you’ve been in a car wreck in North Carolina?
The answer to that question unfortunately is generally no.
In 2011, the North Carolina Legislature passed a law, which is referred to as Rule 414. The Rule states that you can only introduce evidence of amounts actually paid to satisfy medical bills, and evidence of amounts necessary to satisfy the bills that have been incurred, but not yet satisfied.
So what does this mean? This means that if you have health insurance, and if your health insurance company covers a medical bill stemming from a car crash, you will only be able to submit evidence of what has been paid to satisfy that bill, or any amounts necessary to satisfy the bill if it has not yet been paid.
Practically speaking, most health insurance companies have relationships with medical providers, wherein the health insurance company never pays the full amount of the bill. They get a write-off, also known as an “adjustment.” So if you were billed $1,000.00 for an Emergency Room visit, your health insurance company may pay $700.00 towards satisfying that bill, and they may get a write-off or an “adjustment” of $300.00. That means that at trial, under North Carolina law, you are only allowed to submit evidence of the $700.00 payment that was made towards that bill.
How does Rule 414 affect your case? Ever since Rule 414 came down, insurance adjusters have used the law to offer less than the total amount of medical bills, to settle claims. This impacts your case from start to finish. In addition, if your case must proceed to litigation, there are strategies that must be analyzed in order to maximize the value of your case.
Our team of experienced attorneys understands how to negotiate with adjusters, including dealing with Rule 414. In addition, should your case proceed to litigation, we can advise you as to the steps strategically to take, to try to maximize the value of your case. The law can be overwhelming, and having to deal with an adjuster is an increased burden during an already difficult time. We are here to help you navigate through the process, and undertake the heavy legal lifting so that you can focus on your physical and mental recovery.
Please remember that The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor is here for you and is committed to assisting you with your case. All of our five offices are open and staffed. We are able to handle cases remotely during this time. We have offices in Charlotte, Hickory, and Greenville, North Carolina, and in Rock Hill and Columbia in South Carolina. Please give us a call so that we can fight for your rights.