Am I co signing to pay an emergency room bill when I signed my mother into the hospital?

by Sherry
(New Philadelphia, Ohio)

I recently received a hospital bill for my deceased mother who passed seven years ago. I am being told I am responsible because I signed her into the emergency room. I live in the State of Ohio. They are threatening to attach my wages. Do I need a lawyer?

Comments for Am I co signing to pay an emergency room bill when I signed my mother into the hospital?

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Oct 26, 2011
Am I co signing to pay an emergency room bill when I signed my mother into the hospital?
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com

Sherry:

I do not know the answer to your question because I do not know what the paperwork you signed at the hospital said. That is essential information. Have you tried to get a copy of that paperwork? I would not think that the simple act of signing your mother into the hospital would legally obligate you to pay her unpaid bill, but it would if the paperwork you signed stated that you agreed to assume responsibility for her unpaid medical bills.

Unfortunately, the statute of limitations on medical debt associated with a written contract or agreement is 15 years in your state. This means that if you are in fact legally responsible for paying your mother's medical debt, the hospital is entitled to sue you for the money during those years, which is what it is threatening you with given that it claims it may begin garnishing your wages. The hospital cannot take that action without suing you first and winning the lawsuit.

I have a couple suggestions for you. First, read our article on medical debt collection and your options for dealing with unpaid medical debts. Second, make sure that your mother's insurance company/ies paid everything it should have on her hospital bills. Third, go here to learn aboutfree or low-cost resources that may be able to help you resolve your problem, or schedule an appointment with a consumer law attorney in your area who helps resolve debt collection problems.

Good luck!


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