What are my rights when contesting the amount of a bill?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

My father is a famous surgeon who recently sustained a head injury. When we first hired some caregivers, they quoted me a price. However, when I got the bill it was more than double of what I was quoted. My father, the cognitively injured patient, signed off on the hours and bill, but I did not sign the contract since it stipulated more than what was agreed upon. What rights do I,the daughter with full Power of Attorney, have to contest this bill?

Expert Answers

Steve Weisman hosts the nationally syndicated radio show A Touch of Grey, heard on more than 50 stations, including WABC in New York City and KRLA in Los Angeles. He is a practicing lawyer specializing in estate planning and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He's a public speaker and commentator who has appeared on many radio and television shows throughout the country, and he's the legal editor of Talkers magazine, the preeminent trade publication of talk radio. His latest book is The Truth About Avoiding Scams.

If your father suffered from significant cognitive impairment at the time that he agreed to the bill, he would not be considered by the law to be of sufficiently sound mind to make a contract and his assent to the charges would not be valid. If your Durable Power of Attorney is in effect at this time, you most likely have the authority (depending on the terms of the particular Durable Power of Attorney) to dispute the charges. You may also consider bringing a claim for an unfair and deceptive trade practice against the company based upon them quoting you a price that was half of what they billed you for. In any event, you should contact a lawyer to assist you in this matter.