When Bankruptcy and Medical Malpractice Overlap

Did you know that medical bills are one of the primary causes of bankruptcy? It was true before the ACA, and even with the ACA in place American still struggle to pay for medical care in a system that is opaque and increasingly stacked against the patient. Medical costs depend on the deal that’s been negotiated with your insurance company or your ability to pay in cash. Even insured people find out that sometimes that policy doesn’t cover certain drugs, treatments, or procedures and the bills just keep coming. Even a trip to the ER of your in-network hospital can land you with an uncovered bill for an out-of-network ER contracting firm.

When medical malpractice and bankruptcy overlap, it can be the malpractice and the resulting bills for treatment that trigger the financial crisis. If you can’t work, or if the medical bills are piling up, and your daily expenses can’t be met, then bankruptcy can look like the best option. Maybe you think that there’s no way to file a malpractice suit in bankruptcy, but you’d be wrong. In fact, it can be an essential part of your bankruptcy process. When you start the bankruptcy process, you have to tell you lawyer about the malpractice – even if you have not yet filed a suit.

Why?

Because the proceeds of that lawsuit are potentially an asset that needs to be declared – in fact that goes for any type of lawsuit filed or unfiled. Failure to declare any lawsuit means that you could have your filing dismissed, or even face a charge of bankruptcy fraud. Additionally, you could lose the right to claim the proceeds of the suit as exempt from your creditors. The opposing attorneys could even claim not declaring the lawsuit as an admission that you have no claim. There are a lot of different factors that your attorneys will need to consider and address.

Yes. “Attorneys.”

Why more than one?

Bankruptcy can be hard enough on its own. This is not a DIY and neither is a malpractice suit. Trying to manage a bankruptcy and a malpractice suit can tax even the most organized and reasonable person. You need to have professionals on your side to look out for your interests in both cases. We will find you a personal injury attorney and both of us will advocate for you. If you have mounting bills, urgent medical needs, and need to talk to attorneys about both bankruptcy and medical malpractice, call our Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach offices. We are open seven days a week, and the initial consultation is free.

Once you come in, you may find out that you have a lot more hope than you thought. We will make sure that in both bankruptcy court and in civil court that you have expert representation and advice. We will work to get you the best possible outcome on both fronts. Call us today and start getting your finances and health back under your control.

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Published by
Chad Van Horn

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