Maybe you fell down the unlit stairway at your best friend’s apartment building. Perhaps you suffered a brain injury in a car crash caused by a distracted driver. You may have spent several days or even weeks in the hospital, and now you have massive medical bills that you need to cover.
Especially if you do not have health insurance coverage currently, you likely experienced intense sticker shock when you got the first bills from the hospital that has provided your care. They may have charged you hundreds of dollars for what seem like basic services.
Can you negotiate for a lower balance due on those hospital bills?
Yes, hospitals can work with patients with large balances owed
The good news for those facing a shocking amount of medical debt is that hospitals and similar healthcare providers like rehabilitation facilities are often willing to negotiate on prices. They might reduce the total amount that you owe if you commit to a payment plan or help you apply for forgiveness for a certain amount of your medical debt.
However, even if the hospital cooperates with you, you could end up responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in hospital bills when you aren’t even the one who caused the crash or failed to take care of a property appropriately.
You may also qualify for compensation
Most property owners and businesses carry insurance to protect against common concerns, like a slip-and-fall injury at a store or a car crash. Depending on where you got hurt and the circumstances leading to your injury, you may have grounds to bring a claim against a general business policy, a homeowner’s insurance policy or a car insurance policy. There are even forms of professional insurance that could apply in some scenarios.
Additionally, if you have reason to believe that the other party was negligent or violated the law, you may have grounds for a civil lawsuit. Both insurance and proceeds from a successful claim in civil court could help you cover those hospital expenses in full.
Before you sit down to negotiate with an account specialist at the hospital or rework your budget to absorb a pricey payment plan, you may need to review the situation where you got hurt to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit or an insurance claim that could cover those expenses and possibly more. You may also have the right to seek property damage losses and the income you lost while you were in the hospital.
Evaluating your situation more thoroughly can help you reduce the financial consequences of your recent injury.