Attorney Ben Schwartz answers a viewer’s question: “Medicaid paid my hospital bills and medical expenses after my slip-and-fall accident. I am getting a settlement, but my lawyer is fixing to pay back Medicaid from my settlement money, is that legit?”
Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,
Today we are going to answer a viewer’s question from Charles in North Wilmington. Charles wrote-in and he said, “Medicaid paid my hospital bills and medical expenses after my slip-and-fall accident. I am getting a settlement, but my lawyer is fixing to pay back Medicaid from my settlement money, is that legit?” The answer is yes, that is absolutely legit.
If you had a slip-and-fall, or a personal injury accident, in the state of Delaware and your Delaware Medicaid health insurance has paid for medical treatment as a result of the injuries from that accident, when you get a settlement from the at-fault party, at-fault landowners insurance company, or the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you have to pay back Medicaid. That is statutory, and if you don’t pay it back, you could lose your health insurance. You could end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit, or criminal action, potentially brought by the state of Delaware. So you absolutely want your lawyer to pay back Medicaid out of your settlement.
What you have to know is, that a number of years ago my father, Steven Schwartz, had a personal injury case that he handled for a client named Mr. Jeffries. We had Medicaid claiming a right to be reimbursed from Mr. Jeffries’ slip-and-fall case. We litigated the case and we got the court to issue an opinion. In this case, it was called Jeffries versus Kent Vo-Tech. Essentially it said that when you pay back Medicaid for what they paid for your medical treatment out of a settlement, you are entitled to take a deduction that equals what you paid the lawyer. So if your lawyer is working on a contingent fee and let’s say you are paying the lawyer ⅓, you take ⅓ out of what you are paying back to Medicaid. You are paying them at a reduced rate. That is the case that we litigated.
If you are an attorney watching this video and you would like to get the case citation, shoot me an email below. I can email it to you and you will have it. That is something that you can do, and it will save money. Make sure your attorney knows about it Charles, it is something that is very helpful. It is something we fought for several decades ago so it would be a benefit to all people who are injured in these types of cases in Delaware. I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz, a very good question. If you have questions for me, keep them coming. You give me questions and I’ll give you answers. Send me an email below. Thanks for watching!