Not All Assignments Are Valid?

In Action Chiropractic Clinic., LLC v. Prentice Hyler, Prentice Hyler, was involved in a car crash, which was apparently not his fault. Following the crash, he sought chiropractic treatment with Action Chiropractic. Before beginning treatment, he executed an assignment prepared by Action Chiropractic, which apparently was intended to ensure that Action Chiropractic got paid for the services it rendered and attempted to impose a payment obligation on the at fault insurance carrier. The assignment stated in part, that the injured party's “medical expense benefits allowable, and otherwise payable” to Hyler by his “Health Insurance, Auto Insurance, or any other party involved,” were assigned to Action Chiropractic. However, the court deemed this assignment ineffective as to the tortfeasor's insurance carrier, finding it didn't do what Action intended it to do. 
Mr. Hyler ran up about $5,000 in bills and settled his case with the at-fault party's insurance carrier for about $8,500. In the release he signed – provided by the at-fault insurance carrier – he released the at-fault driver and his carrier, but did not explicitly promise to pay off any outstanding medical bills from the settlement funds. Mr. Hyler cashed the check and no one paid Action Chiropractic.
Action sued both Mr. Hyler and the at-fault insurance carrier for the $5,000 in services rendered. The insurance carrier filed a Motion for Summary Judgment arguing that the assignment executed by Mr. Hyler was not effective as against it. Both the trial court and court of appeals agreed finding that Mr. Hyler did not actually execute a valid assignment of potential third-party insurance proceeds. At best, he assigned insurance proceeds from his own policy of insurance, not the at-fault party's policy. In other words, inartful drafting killed the assignment.
The court of appeals did not address whether with proper drafting an assignment by an injured party of the at-fault party's insurance carrier's payment obligation could be effective. Likewise, the court did not address any policy defenses that may preclude such an assignment. Finally, the court didn't address Mr. Hyler's remaining obligation to Action Chiropractic. At the end of the day, Hyler received the services and didn't pay the bill. It seems that both Mr. Hyler and Action Chiropractic may have been better served had they engaged counsel to prepare the assignment and handle the resolution of the personal injury claim respectively.
Action Chiropractic Clinic, LLC v. Prentice Hyler, No. M2013-01468-SC-R11-CV, (Tenn. Ct. App. July 1, 2015).