Summons for medical bill collection
Asked Jun 10, 2007, 12:28 PM
Thank you in advance for any help offered. Here is the situation. A medical bill has been put in collections from a group of NICU doctors that were out of network (insurance). The insurance company worked out a deal with the doctors based on some in network prices. I am being billed for the rest. We disputed this with the insurance company and were denied. Original services were done in 2004. We then started going through some other surgeries and medical issues with our child and put off the bill. Now we have received a civil summons demanding almost $7000.00. I'm down to 5 days left to answer the summons. I believe the SOL for me to go back against the insurance company has passed because of a clause in the policy limiting that to 2 years. In the state of FL it is 5 years unless stated otherwise. We have several bills in collections and have made efforts to pay off what we can. The summons is for breach of contract. They are asking for a judgment for the $7000.00 bill + attorney's fees + interest from 2004 + any other further relief the court deems proper. They accuse the we will be unjustly enriched if we were not required to pay. So far they have received something like 92k of the 99k they billed to insurance.
I have called the collection attorney to see about getting a discount before answering the summons. They said it was to late and that the discount they offered in 2004 was only good for 30 days.
Questions I am stressing about: 1. It an answer as simple as admit/deny to each line in the summons or should more information be included.
2. In FL I believe that mediation in mandatory before a court date is set. Is there any chance that in mediation the bill may be reduced? We have a lot of equity in our home but don't have a lot of extra income and still have many medical issues with our child.
3. Are there any reasons the collection company would want to work out a deal are can they just smell "blood" because of the equity in my house.
4. Is there any way to estimate the court/attorney cost that may be added to the judgment if/when this goes to mediation or trial. Right now they want $700 for their fees.
5. Is this bill going to turn into @15000.00 + by putting up some fight.
6. We don't dispute the services, just that our insurance company should have paid and feel they should have went after them.
7. Can they get a judgment for interest from the date of service? How horrible can that turn out to be.
8. Can I get an attorney involved after I answer the summons without one.