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DrKedwards

California Civil Code 3040(f)

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I treated a patient after an auto accident and got a lien signed by both her and her attorney. She was not at fault and the other party's insurance is responsible. My total medical bill is $4175.00 and I discharged her as condition resolved without complication. I am a solo practitioner, that is, I am not with a medical / chiropractic group. Her attorney received a settlement offer of $7500.00 and stated that I was legally responsible to reduce my fees due to the Made Whole and Common Fund Doctrines and cited CA Civil code 3040(f). I disagreed and stated I had a lien and that I am not required to reduce my fees. He is suggesting he will file an interpleader if I don't reduce. Can he do this?  I might add that my fees are lower than the Medicare fee schedule, which I can prove.

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39 minutes ago, DrKedwards said:

He is suggesting he will file an interpleader if I don't reduce. Can he do this?

 

Can he file it? Sure. Can he make it stick? Beats me. I just looked up CA Civil Code 3040(f) and I have no clue.

 

I always thought that compromising one's lien was voluntary and medical providers went along with it because it was either take less or get nothing from the claim which would mean sending the account to collections or filing a lawsuit against the patient.

 

I suggest you run it past your own attorney.

 

 

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On 3/2/2019 at 4:40 PM, DrKedwards said:

She was not at fault and the other party's insurance is responsible.

 

I'm curious about this statement.  I assume you didn't witness the accident and, as such, have no personal knowledge who was at fault.  Did the other party's insurance agree to accept liability?

 

 

On 3/2/2019 at 4:40 PM, DrKedwards said:

He is suggesting he will file an interpleader if I don't reduce. Can he do this?

 

Absolutely.

 

Civil Code 3040(f) provides that "[a] lien subject to subdivision (a) or (b) is subject to pro rata reduction, commensurate with the enrollee’s or insured’s reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, in accordance with the common fund doctrine."  You can read it and determine for yourself whether your lien is subject to subdivision (a) or (b).

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Other party accepted responsibility. It was a rear-end collision on the freeway. Also, I am not subject to sub-division (a) or (b) which applies to insurance companies or practices with multiple clinics. I am a solo practitioner

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Thank you. That's what I thought. The lawyer appears to be trying to intimidate me into reducing my fees. At least that's my take on it. If he is going to quote 3040 (f), then he should know who it applies to.

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