Orlando, FL asked in Personal Injury for Florida

Q: A contractor, hired by developer who built my home, injured me, the homeowner. Who is liable for my medical expenses?

The accident occurred due to negligence on their part. I had to go to the ER and get tests done. The person than handles billing at the hospital recommended we put the company’s name as the payer, and to not put my insurance on file, so they wouldn’t go after that. She said we’ll get a bill in a few weeks, which we should take to the company’s office and deliver it in person. Is this the right approach or should we get legal counsel?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Notify your insurance carrier immediately. When you get the bill, I suggest you send a copy to your insurance carrier and suggest that they demand payment by the contractor.

Charles M. Baron agrees with this answer

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Both the contractor and the developer are potentially liable - not only for medical bills, but also for pain and suffering damages and any economic losses beyond medical bills. Therefore, if I were you, I'd seek a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in your area to get an evaluation on whether you could obtain more compensation by hiring an attorney on a contingency (percentage) fee basis than by only attempting to recoup your past medical bills.

If your situation is that you are TOTALLY fine at this time and are CERTAIN that you will never have any further pain/discomfort from this injury IN YOUR LIFE, nor any further medical bills, you have the option of contacting the contractor to determine if either they or their liability insurance carrier will pay the bills - but if your health insurer would cover all of your bills, you could go that route, and your health insurer would have the option of making a subrogation claim (a claim "standing in your shoes") against the contractor and developer to obtain reimbursement.

Whether you're fine or not, I'd ask the hospital staff person WHY she recommended that you don't use your own health insurance. Is it only because the hospital would make LESS MONEY from your insurer than from a third party? If that's the sole reason, why would you spend the time to make a claim to the third party or parties?

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