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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29802
Experience:  Lawyer
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I received an insurance check made payable to me because the

Customer Question

I received an insurance check made payable to me because the hospital where I had the procedure done was "out of network", which I did not know until the day of the procedure. I had to deposit the check and wait for it to clear and I was unable to drive to take it to the hospital at the time. Unfortunately, at the time, I was on disability and unable to pay my bills so little by little, I started using the money, with the intention of paying it back whe I returned to work. A month later, I fell at the mall and was injured. I hired an attorney and I am suing the mall for my injuries. (What a story, huh?) So, now I KNOW I will be able to pay the money back when my case is settled, I got hurt pretty badly.
Now, the hospital wants to sue me for the money and their attorney tells me this is embezzlement. Which, I did not know this or I would have never done what I did. I truly did it with all good intentions of repaying the money. I told their attorney that I could make payments to them, I also told him about the pending lawsuit I have. And, I told him that this coming November, I will be able to borrow from my pension. They want a large down payment and then they will try to work with me.
Can they take me to court? Can I lose my job? Can I go to jail? I haven't eaten or slept since I received the letter and talked to their lawyer. This happened in October 2013 and they are just not contacting me.
Please advise!
Thank you.
Denise King
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi Denise,I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened. The hospital can sue for the money, because they provided services and are legally entitled to be paid for those services. Neither the insurance company's mistake in sending the check to you personally nor the fact that you were having trouble making ends meet without that money is a defense to a lawsuit by the hospital. So, I'm sorry to say, they can sue, and they will probably win. They're not required to wait for your other lawsuit to settle (although you'll be able to pay the judgment once you win that other case). This is not the type of case that police would typically get involved with, so it's not likely that you would go to jail. If they attempted to file an embezzlement, they would likely be told that this is a civil dispute between you and the hospital, and it's up to them to file a lawsuit against you. If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply without rating so I may address them. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively to redirect a portion of the payment you have already made so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.