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legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 9909
Experience:  Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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My husband was in an accident on December 21, 2012. The

Customer Question

My husband was in an accident on December 21, 2012. The other driver was at fault. He suffered injuries to his back. When we went to submit his medical bills to her insurance in the early part of 2013, they said that they would not pay until he was finished with treatment. The case settled last year and he is no longer receiving medical care. However, we recently received a bill for over $3,300 for services provided January - March 2013. We have not heard of this at all until this month, three and half years later. Are we legally responsible for this? Should we submit it to her insurance? We have not paid on this because I believe we are not responsible.Thank you
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  legalgems replied 10 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 10 months ago.

I am sorry to hear that your husband was in an accident. You mention there was a settlement; the bill for services rendered for early 2013 were not submitted to insurance?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
As far as we know, no, it was not.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
What should we do?
Expert:  legalgems replied 10 months ago.

Thank you; the statute of limitations for an oral account is 3 years from the date of last payment or charge; for written contracts it is 5 years.

However there is also an equitable concept called laches- basically it allows the court to bar a claim when the court feels that proper steps have not been taken- the court feels that it would be unfair to allow collections. So for example, if there was no communication between the provider and the patient regarding a bill from 3.5 years ago, the court may very well deem that laches bars collection. It is impossible to determine since, it is an equitable theory, so it is left to each judge's personal judgment (versus a definitive time line like the statute of limitations).

some insurance policies and contracts between providers put the responsiblity of submitting bills to insurance directly on the medical provider- so that can be reviewed to see if it applies, in which case the medical provider would bear the loss.

If a written settlement released all other claims as to the insurance/driver, then unfortunately that would bar additional claims.

So one would be legally liable unless the judge applied laches.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  legalgems replied 9 months ago.

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;
if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answer.