Legal Question in Personal Injury in North Carolina

Compensation for hospital bill

I was assaulted during a confrontation. The individual whom assaulted me was found guilty in a court of law for assaulting me. I suffered a broken nose as a result of this person hitting me and I also missed a few days from work because of pain. I now have a hospital bill that has to be paid. The hospital bill is in my father's name, because I am a student and I don't have any insurance of my own, I am covered under his insurance. For some reason his insurance company hasn't paid the bill yet. The hospital is constantly calling my father at home and work. So he is going to go ahead and pay the bill. So what steps do I need to take to get reimbursed for my bill and money for pain and suffering from the person who assaulted me? Does my father have to be present when this matter is taken to court since the hospital bill is in his name or can I go to court without him and just take the hospital bill and receipt to court with me. I ask this because it would be very difficult for my father to be present because he has missed too many days from work due to this case, it was continued three times, so he has missed four days of work. I should also mention that he was a witness for this case so he had to be there. What do I do?

Asked on 7/27/04, 7:00 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

William Horsley William F. Horsley, P.A.

Re: Compensation for hospital bill

I don't know where the criminal matter was tried, but it is typical for the judge, as part of the sentencing and punishment, to require the criminal defendant to make restitution by paying medical expenses, lost earnings and other economic losses caused by the assault. You should check with the local Clerk's or DA's office to see if that was part of the process in your case. If it was, then you should make sure the bills and lost earnings verifications are filed as part of the court record. Now, that won't guarantee payment of the bills. The insurance company should certainly pay what it contracted to pay, and you and your father should demand that the insurance company honor its contract. In the meantime, if the person who assaulted you has personal liability insurance, it MAY compensate you for your damages. I say MAY because many of the policies exclude coverage for harm caused by intentional acts such as an assault. If the criminal is required to make restitution, and does not do so, any sentence imposed which was suspended may be activated so he will go to jail if restitution is not made. You will probably have to be pretty aggressive in pushing this, however, because once a case is closed most DA offices are uninterested in reopening it. Good luck.

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Answered on 7/28/04, 10:10 am

George Lennon Lennon, Camak & Bertics, PLLC

Re: Compensation for hospital bill

Have your father call the NC Dept. of Insurance Consumer Section for help getting the health insurance to pay the bill. 1-800-662-7777. Be sure the Assistant District Attorney has copies of all bills for medical care and lost wages. You may have to sue the other person in Small Claims Court for the bills. Good luck.

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Answered on 7/28/04, 10:17 am

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