Medical Bills (Government and Private) on a California Minor Child Injury Case
As we have seen in prior postings on this website, the power of the court to approve a minor child’s settlement is mandatory and final to legally enforce the settlement of a minor child injury case, but the power of the court to reduce medical bills is quite limited. The court may determine what should be paid out of the minor child’s settlement, but if it is a private medical bill, and a dispute arises between the medical provider and the child’s parents, or guardian ad litem, then those disputes should be resolved under a separate lawsuit; this also includes attorney fee disputes, which should be resolved by a fee arbitration.
However, with government medical bills, there are special California statutory protections in place. For example, a California county may have a medical lien for the reasonable value of medical care furnished to an injured person or an injured child. At the same time, a California state department or county agency that furnished or supplied medical treatment services under the California Services Program has a subrogation right (legal interest) against any settlement relating to the medical condition for which the medical services were (or will be) supplied. Most of the relevant California statutes researched all specify that the county or other state agency are legally entitled to full reimbursement on their medical liens. Thus, the California Probate Code Section 3601 which gives court power or authority to determine the reasonable medical expenses to paid out of a reduce said medical liens.
An interesting note on medical liens with child injury settlements, including adult injury settlements: if any of the medical bills were paid by County Medical Services in San Diego County (also known as CMS), then those bills covered by CMS are not reimbursable back to CMS at time of settlement, unless the settlement is derived by jury trial in the form of a California Superior Court verdict. If not, and it is derived in any other manner, including settlement, mediation, or pre-settlement litigation, then CMS cannot, by California law, hold a medical lien reimbursement interest.
Legal Research for this Blog Posting: See 129 Cal. Gov. Code Section 23004.1. 130 Cal. Health & Safety Code Section 123982.
Child Injury/Accident Attorney:
Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Child Injury/Accident Attorney and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Personal Injury Law Office dedicated to representing families of minor children injured due to the negligence of others. If you or a loved one, who is a minor child, has been injured or killed in a child accident in San Diego, please order your free copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It is full of helpful information that will help you protect your legal rights and it normally sells for $16.95. However, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident. Also, you can check out Mr. Blane's book on California child injuries called Justice for the Injured Child available for sale; this book has become a California parent's legal survival guide to their child's California accident case.