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What Is a Lien in a Personal Injury Case?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2022 | Personal Injury

You want to protect your rights after suffering a personal harm. Typically, this entails filing a personal injury claim. Most consumers are unaware that after obtaining compensation, a portion of the settlement may be recovered by third parties as medical liens. Working with a Tacoma Family Law Attorney will help you comprehend such neglected but critical aspects while you seek personal injury compensation, assuring you receive a fair settlement.

Medical lien

When you win a personal injury settlement or jury verdict, a part of the amount may repay the party(s) that paid your medical care. This includes:

  • Medicare and Medicaid

Government programs, including Veterans Administration, can pay for your medical expenses after a personal injury. When you receive a settlement from the responsible party, they have the right to claim the amount in whole or part following the program’s policies.

  • Private health insurance

The subrogation process allows your insurance to claim medical expenditures from your settlement. This is in accordance with state laws and coverage policies. For example, your policy may give the insurer the authority to file a claim against you if they are not reimbursed for medical expenses. In some states, insurers are not allowed to include the clause in health insurance contracts.

  • Workers compensation

If the personal injury is work-related, worker’s compensation provides settlement, including medical expenses and lost income. The state’s workers’ compensation fund can claim and recover a part of such an amount from your settlement.

  • Hospital or medical provider

A medical practitioner or hospital has the legal right to seek a lien in order to recover funds spent on your treatment and care. They may request that you sign a lien letter agreeing to a lien against the settlement to reimburse the costs.

To claim a lien, the provider/hospital must follow the measures outlined by law. This includes providing written notice prior to a jury verdict or settlement, which usually occurs within 180 days following hospital discharge. A lien isn’t enforceable if they don’t follow the rules, but it doesn’t imply you won’t pay for the treatment because they can still bill your insurer.

The claimant wants to get their money back. However, this does not imply that you should pay the claims as they are. You have the option to negotiate the lien, especially since paying it in full may leave you with little to nothing. Paying the full amount without accounting for monetary and non-monetary variables, such as pain and suffering, might be an injustice. Your lawyer can assist you in negotiating with the claimant to reach a lesser settlement.

Get Help Today

When seeking personal injury compensation, it is best to choose an experienced and reputed attorney. Before you hire a professional, find out what a lien is in a personal injury lawsuit and if they will manage it. The attorney will explore any liens imposed on your case under such an agreement. They will notify you of any liens and take the necessary steps to guarantee you receive a fair settlement. This includes taking such liens into account while discussing pay. They also keep the claimant informed, making a fair settlement more likely.

Liens in personal injury situations might be difficult to understand. Just when you think you’ve been compensated, you find out that a generous portion of the settlement isn’t going to you. To ensure that you pursue and receive proper compensation, you must first understand what a lien is in a personal injury case and how it affects your circumstances.