the Center for Accident Assistance™
By Philip L.
By Philip L. Franckel, Esq.
When you are hurt in a car accident, before you are treated, your doctor may ask you to sign a paper which is a No-Fault assignment. Doctors often will not treat you without signing this form and clients frequently call me from the doctor's office to ask if they should sign this paper. My answer is always yes. While it may look imposing, an assignment provides you with major benefits.
When you sign an assignment, your doctor or other health care provider (assignee) enters into a contract with you (assignor). This contract assigns or transfers your right of insurance reimbursement to the doctor. This benefits the doctor by allowing the doctor to bill the insurance company and receive a check directly from the insurance company. This way, the doctor does not have to worry about getting paid from the patient, because some patients never pay the doctor after receiving a check.
Of course, this benefits you also, because you don't have to pay the doctor, send the bill to the insurance company and wait for payment. Even better, you don't have to worry if the insurance company denies part of your medical bill or denies your entire medical bill.
Whether your insurance company denies part of your medical bill or your entire medical bill, your doctor cannot ask you for payment and you are not legally responsible for payment.
This is because you assigned (transferred) your right to collect payment for reimbursement of your medical bill to the doctor. Since you no longer have the right to be reimbursed by your insurance company and only your doctor has this right, you are not legally responsible for payment.
Your doctor's only recourse is against the insurance company. The doctor can arbitrate the denial or file a lawsuit in court against the insurance company.
Yet another benefit is that if your doctor arbitrates a no-fault denial or files a lawsuit against your no-fault insurance company, this will not affect your personal injury lawsuit. If you do not sign an assignment, then you will have to pay the doctor directly and seek reimbursement from your insurance company. If the insurance company denies part or all of your medical bill, you cannot arbitrate the denial or file a lawsuit without jeopardizing your personal injury claim.
An assignment may only be revoked by your doctor or medical provider if you do not have insurance coverage or if you violate a condition of the policy. For instance, you could fail to file a no-fault application within 30 days of the accident which could leave you without coverage or you could fail to appear for a required medical examination by the no-fault doctor.
If you have been hurt in a car accident, call a car accident attorney immediately to protect your rights to no-fault benefits and other rights.