PEBLEY V. SANTA CLARA ORGANICS
May 9th, 2018
The California Court of Appeal held today that a Plaintiff is allowed to treat with doctors on liens, even if he/she was insured at the time of the accident.
This is an extremely important ruling for plaintiffs because it allows them to recover the full amount of money that they owe to their doctors when they treat on liens and solidifies their due process right to choose their own medical treatment.
The court of appeal reasoned that there could be many reasons why a plaintiff may choose to treat on a lien basis (this is when doctors choose to treat a plaintiff without getting paid, and would subsequently get paid after the plaintiffs case is over), for example because "plaintiffs generally make their health insurance choices before they are injured. These choices may be based on the plaintiffs' willingness to bear the risk posed by a health maintenance organization (HMO) rationing system because the plaintiff is healthy and requires little care. This decision may appear much different after a serious accident, when the plaintiff suddenly needs complex, extensive care that an HMO is not structured to provide." The court when on to say: "The plaintiff also may wish to choose a physician or surgeon who specializes in treating the specific type of injury involved, but who does not accept the plaintiff's insurance or any other type of insurance. In addition, health care providers that bill through insurance, rather than on a lien basis, may be less willing to participate in the litigation process."
This is a major victory for personal injury victims because it will allow them to introduce all of their medical bills at the time of trial so they could get compensated for them, without the fear that the court may grant a defendants motion to exclude the "unpaid" bills.
If you have been severely injured by someone else's wrong doing contact us for your free case evaluation. We will take any case to trial if that is what is required to fully compensate you for your injuries.