In the midst of a health crisis in America, now is a great time to make sure that if crisis strikes, you can talk to your loved one's medical team.
In the midst of a health crisis in America, now is a great time to make sure that if crisis strikes, you can talk to your loved one's medical team.
I had the great pleasure of teaching a class to over 110 criminal defense lawyers on February 28, 2020. They were all gathered to learn how to defend their clients who have been charged with DWI or DUI. I was there to tell them how it works when I sue their clients for injuring my clients in drunk driving accidents.
So what does happen when someone gets hurt or killed by a drunk driver in North Carolina?
First, let me make this clear: Nichols Law Firm only represents people injured or killed by drunk drivers. We never defend drunk drivers. When I teach a class to lawyers who defend drunk drivers, I'm teaching them the best ways to help my injured clients, which sometimes can be mutually beneficial to their client.
When a North Carolina drunk driver wrecks your car and injures you or your loved ones, we all hope that they are arrested at the scene. The arresting officer will do field sobriety tests, and if the driver does poorly on the tests, there will be probable cause to request a breath test for blood alcohol concentration. The drunk driver can refuse that test but the arresting officer can force a blood draw to get the results. Any blood alcohol concentration over .08% will result in an arrest for driving while intoxicated. Some refer to that simply as DWI or DUI.
Is a personal injury claim against a drunk driver any different from a regular personal injury claim?
A personal injury case against a drunk driver is pretty similar to one against a non-drunk driver. An adjuster from the drunk driver's insurance company will want to take a recorded statement from you over the phone. They may ask you about all the ways you think the driver was intoxicated. It's really important to get that right and make sure that you tell them all the signs of intoxication you saw: glassy eyes, smell of alcohol, unsteady on feet, slurring words, and of course, any statements the other driver made about drinking.
So what are punitive damages in drunk driving cases?
In North Carolina, under General Statute Chapter 1D, Punitive Damages, anyone hurt or killed by a drunk driver, who proves the driver was drunk and driving negligently, may be entitled to receive punitive damages on top of the compensatory damages present in every injury case. Compensatory damages are things like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent scars, lost work, ambulance and doctor bills, and permanent disability. Punitives damages are damages on top of the compensatory damages and are meant solely to punish the drunk driver and deter other people from drunk driving.
§ 1D-1. Purpose of punitive damages.
Punitive damages may be awarded, in an appropriate case and subject to the provisions of this Chapter, to punish a defendant for egregiously wrongful acts and to deter the defendant and others from committing similar wrongful acts. (1995, c. 514, s. 1.)
In general, punitive damages are limited to 3 times the amount of the compensatory damages, or $250,000, whichever is greater. But the Legislature made an exception to the cap on punitive damages in North Carolina: drunk drivers.
§ 1D-26. Driving while impaired; exemption from cap.
G.S. 1D-25(b) shall not apply to a claim for punitive damages for injury or harm arising from a defendant's operation of a motor vehicle if the actions of the defendant in operating the motor vehicle would give rise to an offense of driving while impaired under G.S. 20-138.1, 20-138.2, or 20-138.5. (1995, c. 514, s. 1.)
Do I need a lawyer to represent me when I have been hit by a drunk driver?
If you or a loved one gets hit by a drunk driver in Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill, it is a good idea to at least have a free consultation with a lawyer. There are many reasons for this. First, you may be required to come to court as a witness in the drunk driving prosecution. Or you may be called on to give a victim impact statement at the drunk driver's sentencing hearing. While the local District Attorney offices do a great job with victims, they can't "represent you" or give you legal advice. Having your own lawyer, right from the start, means that I can come to the criminal court trial with you and help you through out. It also means that I will monitor the criminal case, and make sure the drunk driver receives appropriate punishment.
How does my lawyer help when I'm called as a witness or victim of a drunk driver?
Along the same lines, the criminal defense attorney can sometimes coordinate with me, as your attorney, to be very helpful to the injured party by facilitating money settlements with the injured party as part of criminal restitution or civil settlement. Sometimes the drunk driver's lawyer will also coordinate with me to make sure that the insurance company for the drunk driver is paying a fair amount of money, considering the compensatory and punitive damages.
What experience does Nichols Law Firm and Chris Nichols, Attorney have making claims against drunk drivers?
I've been practicing law for 25 years and my first few years I actually defended drunk drivers when I worked for a senior attorney. This gave me great practical insight into how the criminal prosecution works. As a civil lawyer, I also have to prove the defendant was intoxicated, and having worked on both sides of this, I have a lot of knowledge. At any given time, my office usually has 4 or 5 cases against drunk drivers. Because of this, we have developed systems to catch drunk drivers in any lies or exaggerations they make about their alcohol use and rehabilitation. It's not unusual for a criminal defendant to testify they have "put down the bottle", only to have our private investigator see them buy booze at the ABC store and drive away on a limited permit that does not allow for that. When we catch defendants in lies like this, the cases against them often settle for more money and faster. Rarely do we have to try one of the civil cases against drunk drivers.
If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed by a drunk driver, you can call me, Chris Nichols, directly, for a free consultation: 919.915.0212
Be safe out there!
Nichols Law Firm
I write this as Hurricane Florence spins off the coast of North Carolina. Right now it looks to be a category 4 or 5 storm.
As a North Carolina Bad Faith Insurance lawyer, I deal with cases where homeowners insurance or commercial insurance wrongfully adjusts or wrongfully handles storm claims. These claims typically include refusing to pay for storm damage, refusing to properly replace a damaged roof, excluding flood damage, or simply low balling repair estimates.
So what can you do right now before the storm hits?
1) Make sure you have a copy of your insurance policy and declarations page. Read through what is covered. Know your coverage when you report your loss.
2) Prepare your home and business. You have a duty to mitigate damages when you can do that safely. Preposition tarps and repair equipment in a safe place so you can immediately plug holes and leaks. Have some buckets ready to catch water from leaks.
3) Take video of your home and business inventory. Preserve copies of important records before the storm hits. Take your phone and walk around your home or business and record items of value. Narrate the video and explain what the item is. For businesses, make sure you know and document exactly what is in inventory. Keep these papers with you when you evacuate.
Did you know that you can hire a lawyer to negotiate losses with your insurance company? There are non-lawyers who act as "public adjusters" and charge you a percentage of what you recover. But most public adjusters are no lawyers, so that can not advise you on the legal meaning of your insurance contract, or whether the behavior of the insurance company is in violation of good faith requirements for insurance companies. Furthermore, if the insurance company won't do the right thing, only a lawyer can file a law suit to enforce your rights under your insurance contract. Many law firms charge exactly the same as non-lawyer public adjusters to negotiate claims before litigation begins.
Nichols Law Firm has experience handling storm losses and works with experienced engineers, architects, roofers, and general contractors to make sure you get the fair and full value for your loss.
On a personal note, I grew up in Hurricane country. I lost my home in 2004 to a huge tree when a micro-burst toppled a 100 ft pine tree on my house during Hurricane Isobel, right here in North Carolina. I, my wife, and my 2 year old were in the home when it happened- thankfully no one got hurt. I know exactly what it is like to be displaced from your home and have your insurance company haggle with you over everything. It's very personal to me.
So be prepared for the worst, but hope for the best!
Nichols Law Firm
If you find yourself in a situation with a personal injury case in North Carolina where Medicaid is claiming a substantial portion of an already limited insurance settlement, and you need to reduce the Medicaid lien, there is a statutory process to request a reduction hearing.
The problem is that it is hard to find the statute that allows the hearing. The reason for that is that due to some federal law changes, which were eventually reversed, North Carolina law changed, but then the new law was rendered inoperable by the federal law changing back. Sounds complicated, and it is, but this post explains all of that: www.nctriallawblog.com/north_carolina_trial_law_/2018/02/medicaid-ahlborn-hearings-are-back-thanks-to-the-2018-federal-budget-which-makes-medicaid-provide-li.html
The practical issue is this: if you google "NC Medicaid Lien Statute" you will find the 2017 "changed" statute in NC that is no longer good law. What you need is that statute language from before the 2017 changes.
That law is from House Bill 982 from 2013. Below is a link to the bill that was signed into law. This is, by way of the federal law changes and the magic of retroactive legal language, the real law on Medicaid liens now. This statute contains the procedure and deadlines you need to successfully challenge a Medicaid lien claim in North Carolina.
If you find yourself needing to challenge the lien claim, my office does this work for other lawyers on a case by case basis. So give me a call to discuss.
This post is an update on an earlier post concerning changes to the law of Medicaid subrogation in North Carolina. The earlier post can be seen here: Medicaid: "Ahlborn hearings" are back thanks to the 2018 federal budget which makes Medicaid provide lien reduction hearings again. But watch the deadlines!
Here is the short version of the history: In 2013 NC amended the law on Medicaid subrogation to allow for a reduction hearing to determine Medicaid's final lien in a third party injury case. That law stood until October 1 of 2017 when a small change to the Federal law had the effect of making the NC statute inapplicable. In anticipation of the Federal change, NC lawmakers had inserted a law in the July 2017 state budget that said in essence, "if the federal changes happen on October 1, then our law changes to this...". The new state law eliminated the reduction hearings and also eliminated Medicaid sharing prorata with valid medical lien holders.
Then on February 9, 2018, the Federal Budget was passed and it retroactively repealed the changes that went into effect on October 1 in the federal law. In my opinion, this had the effect of essentially time traveling back to the last day of September, 2017 and making the October 1 federal changes never happen. Which means, of course, that the NC changes conditioned on the Federal changes, never happened either.
The end result is that as of February 8, 2018, the Medicaid lien law in NC was back to the statute that existed since 2013. Or at least that's what i thought.
That leads me to now. I filed a declaratory judgment suit and motion to determine Medicaid lien in March of 2018 to request a Medicaid lien reduction under the 2013 NC law. In the Compliant I set out all of the changes described above and that the law of NC had "reverted" to the pre-October 1, 2018 law.
The State of North Carolina filed an Answer to the complaint an unequivocally Admitted all of the following allegations in the Complaint.
Long story short, my legal theory set out above is correct.
Below are the legal allegations in the Complaint.
Jurisdiction, Venue, and Governing Law
This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §7A-240 and §7A-243. This Court has personal jurisdiction in this matter pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §1-75.4.
Venue is properly laid in this Court pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §1-80 and §1-82.
That NCGS §108A-57 governs Medicaid lien recovery in North Carolina.
That NCGS §108A-57 was written, in part, to comply with the requirements set out in Wos v. E.M.A., __ U.S. __, 133 S. Ct. 1391, 1402 (2013) which affirmed that Arkansas Dept. of Health and Human Servs. v. Ahlborn, 547 U.S. 268, 284, 126 S. Ct. 1752 (2006) applied in North Carolina. Ahlborn established that the Department of Health and Human Services is prohibited from recovering “a portion of a Medicaid beneficiary’s tort judgment or settlement not designated as payments for medical care” because such recovery is barred by the federal Medicaid statute’s anti-lien provision, 42 U.S.C. § 1396p(a)(1).
That NCGS §108A-57(a2) provides a mechanism for a determination of the portion of the beneficiary's gross recovery that represents compensation for the Medicaid claim and requires that an application for determining the lien under this subsection shall be filed with the court “no later than 30 days after the date that the settlement agreement is executed by all parties and, if required, approved by the court.”
That on October 1, 2017, NCGS §108A-57, was amended pursuant to NC Senate Bill 257. The amendment, which was conditioned upon changes to federal law going into effect the same day, said:
“ SECTION 11H.23. If Section 202(b) of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, P.L. 113-67, takes effect on October 1, 2017, as provided in Section 202(c) of that act, as amended by Section 211 of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, P.L. 113-93, and Section 220 of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, P.L. 114-10, then G.S. 108A-57 reads as rewritten...”
On October 1, 2017, the changes to the federal law went into effect which triggered the changes to North Carolina law, eliminating procedure to request a court for the determination of a medicaid lien pursuant to NCGS §108A-57(a2).
On February 9, the United States Congress passed, and the President signed, H.R.1892 - Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which contained “SEC. 53102. THIRD PARTY LIABILITY IN MEDICAID AND CHIP”.
SEC. 53102 of H.R.1892, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, repealed subsection (b) of section 202 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. The repeal stated that it “includ[es]any amendments made by such subsection” and the repeal “shall be applied and administered as if such amendments had never been enacted.”
The effect of all of these statutory changes on February 9, 2018 was that because the federal changes “had never been enacted” the changes to NCGS §108A-57 set out in NC Senate Bill 257 never took effect and the provisions of NCGS §108A-57(a2) allowing for judicial determination of Medicaid's lien came back into existence on February 9, 2018.
That any matter settled between October 1, 2017 and February 9, 2018, could not apply for a lien determination during that time period and that NC DHHS properly refused to grant requests for reductions during that time frame.
That Plaintiff's Workers' Compensation case was approved for settlement in an Order of the Industrial Commission in IC. File No. Y26729 filed on January 24, 2018.
That upon the reinstatement of NCGS §108A-57(a2) on February 9, 2018, cases settled during the October 1, 2017 through February 9, 2018 period should have 30 days to file for hearings pursuant to NCGS §108A-57(a2) and that the first day they could request such hearing was February 9, 2018.
That Plaintiff in this matter has filed for this hearing pursuant to NCGS §108A-57(a2) within 30 days of February 9, 2018 and has satisfied the filing requirements of NCGS §108A-57(a2).
Again, all those allegations were ADMITTED by the State.
This should settle the question of what law applies now. I will also point out that the website for the General Assembly is still displaying the "new" (but incorrect) NCGS 108A-57. You can view the "old" (but now the current) NCGS 108A-57 in the body of the budget bill, Senate Bill 257 (2017) beginning at the very bottom of page 222 and continuing on to 223. All of the "repealed" portions in that Bill are now law again. Here is the link- go to page 222 or do a search for "subrogation" within the PDF. www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2017/Bills/Senate/PDF/S257v9.pdf
My firm is now taking in limited numbers of Medicaid reduction cases for other lawyers. Make sure you remember that you only have 30 days to file and serve your Motion to Reduce Medicaid lien beginning on the date that the client settles the case (signs the Release of Claims or a court approves a settlement).
Feel free to email me or call me if you have matter you think might qualify for a reduction.
People! Do not let the statute of limitations slip past on your personal injury cases in North Carolina. I've had three calls this week from people who did not have lawyers and who waited until the last second, or past the last second, to call for advice. None of these calls ended on a happy note.
In North Carolina you have three years to either settle a personal injury case or file a lawsuit. I did not say "file a claim." I did not say "talk with an insurance adjuster". I did not say "be in the middle of negotiations."
On the third anniversary of your car wreck, you either need to have a settlement worked out, in writing and agree upon by the insurance adjuster and you, or you need to file an actual lawsuit in a court of law in NC.
If you are still negotiating with that adjuster at midnight on the third anniversary of your car wreck, you can never get anything for your claim. The next minutes that adjuster will say "Sorry, your statute of limitations ran, you have no claim." And so you ask, "Wouldn't the insurance company tell me that my time is running out?" The answer is NO. In fact, I've seen situations where the insurance adjusters actively seek to delay the settlement.
If the car wreck resulted in a death, or wrongful death in North Carolina, the time limit is TWO YEARS. Also, to sue for the wrongful death of a loved one, there must be an Estate set up in the name of the deceased and an Administrator or Executor must actually be the party that sues. Cases like that look like this:
The Estate of John Doe, Susan Doe, Administrator V. Big Truck Company, LLC
Setting up an Estate takes time. And even though there may be one type of Estate set up, it might not be the right type to bring a wrongful death claim.
Not every case needs a lawyer. Really, a lawyer just told you that. I talk to a lot of people on the phone, give them a few pointers and send them on their way. It's sometimes a good idea to settle your own case when it is simple and small. But complicated cases probably need lawyers. So it's always a good idea to call a lawyer like me, and ask.
But really, if you call me on the day that your statute of limitations is about to run out, there is a 95% chance that I will not be able to save you and your case. Lawyers can not send an email to the court to file a lawsuit. It sometimes takes days to draft the paperwork. We have to find the Defendant and make sure we can serve them with papers. We need to see police reports. This takes time.
In law we frequently abbreviate Statute of Limitation as SOL. And if you miss one, you are SOL on your SOL.
I would say that the latest that I would get in touch would be six months before the statute runs out. Put another way, two and half years after the accident for personal injury and one and a half years for wrongful death. That gives the lawyer time to gather your medical records, talk to experts, file the lawsuit, and get it served on the defendant. You see, even though the insurance company pays the claim, the other driver is the one who gets named in the lawsuit. So it's not as easy as my office sending a letter to State Farm. We actually have to send the Sheriff or a certified letter to someone so they can be "served."
If you waited past two and half years, you should still call for advice. Just know that a lot of lawyers don't like taking cases that close to the statute of limitations.
In NC, a minor is anyone under age 18. Minor's statute of limitations work differently than adults. A minor's statute does not BEGIN to run until they are age 18. Then it runs the normal 3 years for personal injury. Crazy, right? So if you are in a car accident at age 2, you will have until your 21st birthday to settle the claim or file a lawsuit! This is also true for other injury claims, like sexual abuse.
But there is a catch.... (there is always a catch, right?). The catch is this: In North Carolina, the medical bills for an injured minor (anyone under age 18) "belong" to the mom, dad, or legal guardian of the minor. What does that mean? It means that because a minor can't sign a contract, when a minor goes to the hospital or doctor and has a bill for services, that bill is actually the parent or guardian's bill. Don't pay it? The parent or guardian gets sued by the hospital, not the minor.
So what's the catch? Well, the catch is this- in the example above where the two year old gets hurt in a car wreck, let's assume the medical bills are $50,000. Three years from the date of the wreck, the parent/guardian's statute of limitations to sue for those medical bills expires. So on 3 years +1 day, the minor can still sue for pain and suffering and other economic wages, but NOT for past medical expenses.
But, there is a catch to the catch! There is a way for the parents to assign the claim for medical bills to the minor child so that those medical bills become part of the claim for the minor that does not run out until age 21. This can be tricky and I recommend lawyer supervision to deal with this. The good news is that it can be done quickly, so if you are reading this on the 2 year 364th day of the anniversary of an injury to a minor, it might not be too late to fix that problem. Call me!
I spoke to someone today who told me that the adjuster was discussing her case with her one day before her three year statute of limitations. She even asked if that was going to be a problem and the adjuster said "you have an open file claim." That made the person feel good, even though it was a meaningless phrase.
When she called the day after the 3 year anniversary of her accident, the adjuster said "sorry, you didn't file a lawsuit in time, you have no claim."
No, she can't sue him for that. Adjusters work for the driver that hit you! Their job is to pay you the least amount of money possible. That's what they get paid to do. Not all of them are this heartless, some would warn you to get a lawyer or file a law suit. A lot of them are very good people. But consumers don't really have the information or ability to decide who is who.
I had to tell this fine person that she no longer had a claim. It was a heartbreaker.
So if you've been waiting, even if you are still being treated for injuries, please call me or another lawyer and just get some advice (free and over the phone) on your time limits and whether you even need a lawyer. I've been doing this (looks at watch) for 23 years now, so I've probably handled a case like yours before. Let's talk.
Chris Nichols, Attorney
If you settled a case (by minor settlement, signed release, or Industrial Commission approval) in which Medicaid claimed a lien, between October 1, 2017 and February 9, 2018, you have 30 days from February 9 to file a motion in Superior or District court to seek a reduction of the lien under NCGS 108A-57. 30 days runs on the weekend of March 10-11, so calendar that for Friday March 9, 2018 (unless you want to play chicken with the weekend rule). Example: You settled a claim on October 15, 2017 that had a Medicaid lien that exceeded 1/3 of the settlement. You paid Medicaid 1/3 of their lien (or held the money) because there was no longer a statutory mechanism to reduce the lien. You now have until March 9, 2018 to file a motion to reduce Medicaid's lien.
SEC. 202. STRENGTHENING MEDICAID THIRD-PARTY LIABILITY.
(b) RECOVERY OF MEDICAID EXPENDITURES FROM BENEFICIARY
LIABILITY SETTLEMENTS.— (1) STATE PLAN REQUIREMENTS.—Section 1902(a)(25) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396a(a)(25)) is amended— (A) in subparagraph (B), by striking ‘‘to the extent of such legal liability’’; and (B) in subparagraph (H), by striking ‘‘payment by any other party for such health care items or services’’ and inserting ‘‘any payments by such third party’’. (2) ASSIGNMENT OF RIGHTS OF PAYMENT.—Section 1912(a)(1)(A) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1396k(a)(1)(A)) is amended by striking ‘‘payment for medical care from any third party’’ and inserting ‘‘any payment from a third party that has a legal liability to pay for care and services available under the plan’’.(3) LIENS.—Section 1917(a)(1)(A) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1396p(a)(1)(A)) is amended to read as follows: ‘‘(A) pursuant to— ‘‘(i) the judgment of a court on account of benefits incorrectly paid on behalf of such individual, or‘‘(ii) rights acquired by or assigned to the State in accordance with section 1902(a)(25)(H) or section 1912(a)(1)(A), or’’.EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by this section shall take effect on October 1, 2014.
NC Senate Bill 257
MEDICAID SUBROGATION RIGHTS CONFORMING CHANGES
SECTION 11H.23. If Section 202(b) of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, P.L. 113-67, takes effect on October 1, 2017, as provided in Section 202(c) of that act, as amended by Section 211 of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, P.L. 113-93, and Section 220 of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, P.L. 114-10, then G.S. 108A-57 reads as rewritten:
"§ 108A-57. Subrogation rights; withholding of information a misdemeanor.
(a) As used in this section, the term "beneficiary" means (i) the beneficiary of..... (then went on to rewrite the subrogation statute)
H.R.1892 - BIPARTISAN BUDGET ACT OF 2018
SEC. 53102. THIRD PARTY LIABILITY IN MEDICAID AND CHIP.
(b) Delay In Effective Date And Repeal Of Certain Bipartisan Budget Act Of 2013 Amendments.—
(1) REPEAL.—Effective as of September 30, 2017, subsection (b) of section 202 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (Public Law 113–67; 127 Stat. 1177; 42 U.S.C. 1396a note) (including any amendments made by such subsection) is repealed and the provisions amended by such subsection shall be applied and administered as if such amendments had never been enacted.
(2) [Does not apply to subrogation]
(3) EFFECTIVE DATE; TREATMENT.—The repeal and amendment made by this subsection shall take effect as if enacted on September 30, 2017, and shall apply with respect to any open claims, including claims pending, generated, or filed, after such date. The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) of section 202 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (Public Law 113–67; 127 Stat. 1177; 42 U.S.C. 1396a note) that took effect on October 1, 2017, are null and void and section 1902(a)(25) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396a(a)(25)) shall be applied and administered as if such amendments had not taken effect on such date.
So where does this leave us?
(a2) A medical assistance beneficiary may dispute the presumptions established in subsection (a1) of this section by applying to the court in which the medical assistance beneficiary's claim against the third party is pending, or if there is none, then to a court of competent jurisdiction, for a determination of the portion of the beneficiary's gross recovery that represents compensation for the Medicaid claim. An application under this subsection shall be filed with the court and served on the Department pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure no later than 30 days after the date that the settlement agreement is executed by all parties and, if required, approved by the court, or in cases in which judgment has been entered, no later than 30 days after the date of entry of judgment. The court shall hold an evidentiary hearing no sooner than 30 days after the date the action was filed. All of the following shall apply to the court's determination under this subsection:
The only logical conclusion is that the 30 day time limit to file a motion for Medicaid lien determination for cases settled from October 1, 2017 through February 9, 2018, begins on February 9, 2018 and runs 30 days until and including Friday March 9, 2018 (or Monday March 12, 2018 if you want to use the "weekend rule", but why risk it?).
(a5) The medical assistance beneficiary or any attorney retained by the beneficiary shall, out of the proceeds obtained by or on behalf of the beneficiary by settlement with, judgment against, or otherwise from a third party by reason of injury or death, distribute to the Department the amount due pursuant to this section as follows:
(1) If, upon the expiration of the time for filing an application pursuant subsection (a2) of this section, no application has been filed, then the amount presumed pursuant to subsection (a1) of this section, as prorated with the claims of all others having medical subrogation rights or medical liens against the amount received or recovered, shall be paid to the Department within 30 days of the beneficiary's receipt of the proceeds, in the absence of an agreement pursuant to subsection (a3) of this section.
(2) If an application has been filed pursuant to subsection (a2) of this section and no agreement has been reached pursuant to subsection (a3) of this section, then the Department shall be paid as follows:
a. If the beneficiary rebuts the presumption arising under subsection (a1) of this section, then the amount determined by the court pursuant to subsection (a2) of this section, as prorated with the claims of all others having medical subrogation rights or medical liens against the amount received or recovered, shall be paid to the Department within 30 days of the entry of the court's order.
b. If the beneficiary fails to rebut the presumption arising under subsection (a1) of this section, then the amount presumed pursuant to subsection (a1) of this section, as prorated with the claims of all others having medical subrogation rights or medical liens against the amount received or recovered, shall be paid to the Department within 30 days of the entry of the court's order.
(3) If an agreement has been reached pursuant to subsection (a3) of this section, then the agreed amount, as prorated with the claims of all others having medical subrogation rights or medical liens against the amount received or recovered, shall be paid to the Department within 30 days of the execution of the agreement by the medical assistance beneficiary and the Department.
The NC AOC (Administrative Office of the Courts) website is often hard to navigate and because it is open to the general public, can be sparse on the email links.
This can make scheduling trials and motions difficult.
Here is a link to the names, adresses and emails of the TCAs and TCCs in North Carolina:
Fabulous post describing how to get fees when ERISA plan administrators do not comply with requests for the plan documents.
Seems like at least 50% of the time I request plan documents I get a one page copy of the Summary Plan Description.
Last week was an exciting week at the Nichols Law Firm as I (Chris Nichols) assumed the presidency of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. NCAJ is one of the largest state trial lawyer's associations in the United States.