How Do Medical Liens Work In A Personal Injury Case?
The word “liens” just has a scary, negative connotation in our society. It conjures terrifying images of people showing up in the dead of night to take your property away from you because you can’t pay a bill. When you’re pursuing compensation in an injury suit, it can be even scarier. After all, you’re the victim—why are people targeting your money?
The truth is, liens aren’t as scary as you may think, and they are actually quite common in credit transactions. Look at the different types of medical liens in a personal injury case, what they mean for your settlement, and how your lawyer can help sort through.
Medical Liens in a Personal Injury Case
When you seek compensation for the harm you suffer at someone else’s hands in the form of a personal injury case, it can take a long time to resolve. The process can go on for months, and even years in the most contentious cases. During this time, you’ve still got bills to pay, and you might have to seek other avenues to pay them.
When you seek these other avenues, those who help you out have a right to get their money back. This results in medical liens being levied against your eventual award. All it means is that your creditors get reimbursed before you get the settlement money.
If you use your own health insurance to cover your injuries and medical bills and are then issued an award to cover the same, your healthcare provider might require reimbursement of the monies they spent to help you pay your bills. This is a basic healthcare lien.
Medical Provider or Hospital Lien
Sometimes, you might not have the money to pay for services rendered, but your hospital, doctor or other medical services provider might agree to defer payments while you settle your case. In this case, they might require you to sign off on a medical provider lien. Such liens have to be filed within 6 months of your visit to the provider and must include accurate information about you and the provider.
Worker’s Comp Liens
If you get hurt in a work accident and worker’s compensation has been paying for your injury, but it turns out a third party was at fault and you sue them successfully, the worker’s comp insurance company has the right to get their money back. In this case, they can file a worker’s compensation lien to collect back what they fronted for your healthcare.
Medicare or Medicaid Liens
If the government kicked in to help pay your bills while you wait to collect damages, they also have the right to file a lien to get their money back. The amount they can recover might vary based on individual program and your needs, however.
Working with a Lawyer
It’s important to work with a lawyer for many reasons in your personal injury case. Not only can they help to get you a better settlement, they can work with your creditors to renegotiate liens. They might be able to reduce or even get a lien released, to increase the amount you receive.
If you’re in Tennessee and need help pursuing an injury case, or negotiating a lien, turn to the Nashville injury attorneys at Mitch Grissim and Associates. Contact us today for a free analysis and evaluation of your case.