In most personal injury cases, it’s likely that you’ve received medical treatments long before receiving your settlement. Once your settlement has been decided, the entity that paid for your medical treatment may attempt to recoup their losses by filing a lien against your settlement. While it can be upsetting, liens are perfectly legal and are a common result in personal injury cases.
Before you file your injury lawsuit, you need to learn more about liens and who can make use of this legal tool. Learn more about medical liens in a personal injury case and find out how a lawyer can lower your potential lien amount through negotiation.
The most common form of a medical lien will be filed by the hospital or medical provider that handled your treatment after your accident. In many cases, if a medical provider is agreeing to treat you without upfront payments, they may request that you sign a lien letter that states you are consenting to a lien if you win a personal injury settlement.
Hospitals can only file liens under very specific circumstances. For example, if the hospital is able to bill your insurance, they must do so instead of filing a lien. Additionally, liens must be filed no less than 180 days after your accident and must include detailed information such as your correct contact information and the services you were provided.
If a hospital does not follow the proper protocol, their lien will not be enforced. However, you will still have to pay for your medical expenses.
Workers’ Compensation Liens
Injuries that take place on the job often result in workers’ compensation benefits. If you’re receiving workers’ comp benefits after a work injury, it’s possible for a lien to be placed on these benefits. This usually happens when your state’s workers’ comp fund has paid for your medical expenses and you then win a personal injury settlement.
There can be a major difference in workers’ comp laws between states, so you should always consult a workers’ compensation lawyer if a workers’ comp lien has been filed against your settlement.
Liens Related to Medicaid and Medicare
Some people involved in personal injury cases have a low enough income that they qualify to have their medical expenses covered by government programs like Medicaid or Medicare. If either of these programs or your Veteran’s Administration benefits, covered your injuries after an accident, they may file a lien against your settlement to get back these payments.
Depending on the program you received benefits for, you may have to pay back a portion or the entirety of these payments.
Hiring a Lawyer to Negotiate Your Lien
If the amount requested in the lien is higher than the amount you received in your settlement, you should consider hiring a lawyer to handle your case. An experienced attorney may be able to convince the party that filed the lien to accept a lower payout so that you won’t have to give up your entire settlement.
Seek Advice After a Personal Injury Case
One of the most important things you can do when facing a lien after a personal injury case is to consult an experienced attorney, which is why you should hire Robert White, Attorney at Law. Every legal professional at Childs, Bishop & White, PC is familiar with personal injury law, including liens against settlements, and we’re ready to work for you.
Get in touch with us about your case right away.