On October 1, 2011, “Billed v. Paid” became law in North Carolina. This new law which was known as House Bill 542 was passed back in June. “Billed v. Paid” is going to have a dramatic effect on North Carolina accident victims and could greatly reduce the amount victims can recover.
“Billed v. Paid” looks to bail out insurance companies. The new law requires a person who is injured to release information about their health insurance to show how much they paid out of pocket for medical expenses and how much their insurance company covered. In the past, victims were only required to show the total amount charged, regardless of who paid the final bill. Now that insurance companies will see this kind of information they will argue that the victim should only be entitled to recover the amount they paid out of pocket.
It almost makes sense, except for the fact that the injured person has been diligently paying for their insurance for years through premiums or through compensation at work. So why should the defendant’s insurance company get a discount and get to reduce the amount they owe the victim because the victim has been paying for their own insurance? The victim should be entitled to the credit they paid for. To top it all off, there is no requirement for the defendant to reveal any of their insurance information. This means that a person who injures you, through no fault of your own, their insurance company will benefit from the insurance you’ve been paying for, even though they have their own insurance.
Now that “Billed v Paid” has become law in North Carolina, it is going to be even more difficult for North Carolina accident victims to receive the compensation they need. This is why it may be helpful to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side. An attorney can help you understand these new changes in the law and can help you get a fair offer from the insurance company, despite what was paid on medical bills. An attorney could also help you recover other damages such as lost wages, future expenses, and compensation for pain and suffering.