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  • Settlement Contract Illinois

    Hi everybody,
    After a long wait I finally got the contract which was not exactly what I expected and previously agreed with my attorney. In Medical Expenses part says that the employer has NOT paid all medical bills. My attorney convinces me that it is normal and it can be found in all contracts. This worries me since it is a lump sum settlement and I am closing all my future medical rights and the right to re-open the case.
    Is this usual? No list of unpaid bills is provided in the space bellow. I don't want to end up with bills that I am not aware of being unpaid.
    Thanks.

  • #2
    I can't tell you whether or not it is in your best interest to sign this agreement or not. For that, you need to rely on your attorney. The language itself is not unusual. It is actually fairly common when doing a settlement to end things as they are at the time of the settlement taking effect. In other words, from that point forward, neither side owes the other anything. This is mostly done to protect the employer/insurer from bills popping up months down the line for treatment that they did not know about.

    On your end this is a relatively simple matter to resolve. You know where you treated. Call them up and ask if there are any outstanding bills.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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    • #3
      Thanks ElleMD,
      I am OK to end things with settling the case. What worries me, are the bills that they didn't pay and they knew about it. How can I know which bills are disputed? I was specific and asked about a treatment I had and they didn't pay for it, but I never got a affirmative or any time of response regarding specific treatments I had in the past.

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      • #4
        Call the doctor and ask if there are any bills that have not yet been paid. It will take you 2 minutes.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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        • #5
          What worries me, are the bills that they didn't pay and they knew about it. How can I know which bills are disputed? I was specific and asked about a treatment I had and they didn't pay for it, but I never got a affirmative or any time of response regarding specific treatments I had in the past.
          IW's are seldom, if ever liable for treatment to a work injury.
          While treatment is subject to prior authorization, a provider who goes ahead with the treatment would have to place a lien against the claim.
          When you settle out by C&R/cash, the providers then deal with the carrier, usually negotiating for a reduced amount, or through lien conference with the WC court.

          What you should look for is language in the C&R documents whereby the IW shall not be held liable for any outstanding liens.

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          • #6
            Whether you will owe for any outstanding medical bills depends on your state law. It is not the same everywhere. So call your providers and find out how much is still owed, so that at least you will know exactly what risk you are taking on. And your lawyer can tell you whether you will have to pay off those bills. Sometimes outstanding medical bills can be negotiated downward after settlement and you can save some money on them that way.
            Bob Bollinger, Attorney
            Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
            Charlotte, NC

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