Maryland car accidents can be expensive. Individuals injured in these accidents often notice the costs piling up in the aftermath—medical bills and expenses from the crash itself, follow-up medical treatment required to recover, not to mention repairing damage to the car, and suffering lost wages due to the accident. One of the things that help Maryland residents, specifically low-income residents, pay for everything is Medicaid, a government program that provides health insurance to over one million people in the state. But sometimes, hospitals may refuse to send the bills to insurance providers like Medicaid, and instead may pursue strategies to charge accident victims full price.
The New York Times recently reported on this shocking practice. According to their article, wealthy hospitals have been quietly using century-old hospital lien laws to increase their own revenue at the expense of poor car accident victims. They use what is called a lien, which is a claim on an asset (such as a home) to make sure that someone repays a debt. By refusing to charge insurance providers the discounted price and taking out a lien instead, they can cripple car accident victims financially, right at the time they are struggling the most. One woman involved in a crash owed $12,856 after the hospital pursued a lien, even though Medicaid would have only had to pay $2,500 for her care. The liens cause accident victims to feel as though a cloud is hanging over their recovery. Some go into debt to cover their subsequent bills, all because they are being preyed upon by a wealthy hospital under an old law.
While it’s concerning, to say the least, in many states, it is perfectly legal.
There is some advocacy right now to try and change the laws allowing for these predatory practices and stop hospitals from refusing to bill providers like Medicaid. Hopefully, this advocacy and the recent New York Times article will bring awareness to the issue and prevent it from continuing. But until the needed change occurs, many accident victims may find themselves struggling under the financial weight of their medical debt.
What Should a Maryland Accident Victim do After an Accident?
If Maryland residents ever find themselves in this situation after a car accident, they should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against whoever caused the accident. State law allows these lawsuits to provide accident victims with monetary compensation for all losses suffered—medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. While they cannot undo the physical damage that is done, they can help offset the financial strain and make sure that Maryland residents are not crushed financially for an accident someone else caused.
Speak to a Maryland Car Accident Attorney Today
If you’re interested in potentially filing a Maryland car accident lawsuit, you may want to first speak with a personal injury attorney who can answer your questions about how to get started and help prepare you for the best chance at success. The good news is, you can do so risk-free right now by calling Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, at 800-654-1949. Our attorneys have years of experience in precisely this area of law and are available for virtual online consultations. Call today to learn more.