If you are a military member and you have been injured off-base, your case is different than any civilian who has been injured. You need an expert law firm comprised of California military injury lawyers to help you navigate through this process.
The first reason why a military member’s case is different than a civilian case is because a military member has federal health care. This makes a huge difference in the process and how the case is negotiated. Tri-Care is the healthcare company that services the military. It is a federally run program and therefore it adheres to federal laws.
Negotiating your Tri-Care Healthcare Liens
Negotiating your Tri-Care health care liens can be a complicated process. In order to explain this, we created the example below.
John, who is a military member, got in a car accident. Bob caused the accident. John has a ton of bills for his hospital expenses but didn’t need to pay anything out of pocket. John gets a personal injury settlement. The military can now come after John to pay the full amount of medical costs that they had to pay, because someone else caused the accident. This is called subrogation. This is in all health care contracts and the reason they can do this is because they feel that if someone else caused the accident then their insurance should be paying for that accident.
This example creates an issue because sometimes the hospital bills are very high and are can be the same amount as the settlement. Now if this were a non Tri-Care provider in California then California Civil Code section 3040 basically says that the insurance companies can only take 33% of your settlement. However, Tri-Care goes by Federal law, which means that they would take 100% of your settlement, if you have outstanding medical bills.
Ways to Reduce Tri-Care Medical Claims and Liens
Three ways you can negotiate these claims down with Federal law from 100% are:
Comparative Fault: Arguing that your client was also at fault will reduce the liability and reduce the claim. If your client is 20% at fault for the accident, then the insurance company should pay that 20%. In that situation your client would only pay 80% of the bills.
Common Fund: The common fund doctrine is says that the insurance company shouldn’t get the benefit of the attorney working the case for free. The common fund doctrine explains that the insurance companies should reduce their share by the same amount as the attorneys fees in the case. Basically, the attorney worked to get them that money, so they shouldn’t be getting it for free. This will generally reduce the amount of the claim by the insurance company by 30%-40%
Made Whole Doctrine: The made whole doctrine is something that was created by case-law in the US. It says that a person needs to be made whole for their injuries. If the medical bills are making it so they did not get enough money for their bills and pain and suffering then the insurance company should lower their billing costs.
Our attorneys have been working for years to establish the perfect method of working with the federal government offices in order to negotiate these medical liens down to the lowest possible point. The lower the lien is, the more money the client gets.
San Diego Military Injury Attorneys – Representing Military Members who have been Injured
In San Diego, the military community is one of the largest in the nation. Looking at military statistics, we can see that there are over 100,000 military members and their families in the county of San Diego. Just like everyone else, these military members get in car accidents, bus accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and falls and other wrongful death issues.
Most attorneys do not know this information but in order to get medical records and billing in the military it requires speaking to a JAG office. This information is not found online. However, if you need it, we are putting it here for our fellow attorneys and military members in San Diego.
For the Navy and the Marines the office to get medical billing from is:
Medical Care Recovery Unit-San Diego
3395 Sturtevant St., Ste. 2
San Diego, CA 92136-5138
For the Army it is done at the:
Office of the Judge Advocate
Phone: 760 380 8404
Fax: 760 380 5034
Getting medical billing on a military case is an extremely difficult process that can take months to make happen. We known the process from start to finish and have ways to get these records as quick as possible.
United States Navy, Army and Marines Injury Attorneys
In California, specifically San Diego, the military has a very large presence. We have represented United States Navy, Army, Marines, Coast Guard and other military branches in personal injury cases. Knowing the process makes it easier to get the maximum recovery for our clients. We know exactly how to handle these cases and have no fear of taking these cases to trial.
Military members are serving our country and often their careers are cut short due to an injury. These are great cases to bring forward and we have had a lot of success handling military injury cases.