You might be wondering why an Orlando accident attorney might be blogging about a recent court ruling that seemingly has nothing to do with an accident, a personal injury, or money damages. Just stay with me…
I was very interested to read about a new ruling from a Pinellas County judge dealing with a debt collector from Jacksonville that was using the social media website Facebook to contact a debtor, as well as her family and friends, and bother them about her unpaid debt. The judge (quite rightly, in my opinion) ruled that such behavior by a bill collector amounts to harassment – which violates Florida’s consumer protection laws.
Apparently, the collector was also contacting the woman six to ten times per day at work, sending text messages to her cell phone, speaking to her neighbors about her, and sending couriers to her workplace.
All over a $362.00 debt.
What does this have to do with my personal injury law practice?
Well, one byproduct of personal injuries is medical bills — sometimes tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medical bills. As you can imagine, many times our clients do not have enough insurance to pay these bills, or they face thousands of dollars in co-pays or underpaid bills. Sometimes hospitals and doctors offices hire collection agencies to try to get their bills paid. More and more, these collection agencies — until this judge’s ruling — have been using Facebook to harass our clients.
As an Orlando accident attorney, I naturally have sympathy for accident victims. But I REALLY have sympathy for people who get harassed over medical bills that they never asked for, never wanted, and that were thrust upon them by someone else’s negligence.
How would you feel?
If you have any questions about aggressive collectors — particularly on medical bills — call Orlando injury lawyer Kim Cullen at 407-644-4444.