How medical liens in a personal injury claim may increase the amount you receive at settlement
Being injured in an automobile accident can be a complicated matter. There are insurance companies to deal with, the auto repair folks, legal forms to fill out, and more. In addition, you have to use part of any settlement you may receive to repay your medical expenses. That means you have to pay back your medical providers and/or the insurance company(ies) that paid those bills.
What is a medical lien and how can that help your personal injury case?
Medical liens are usually filed once you make a personal injury claim or file a lawsuit. A medical lien is a legal document signed by all the parties that have an interest in a particular bill you incurred while being treated for the accident-related injury. After it is signed, it is usually filed in the county clerk’s office in the locale where your medical provider practices. The lien states the particular medical entity’s demand for repayment of services rendered against any money you may receive from your personal injury case.
Medical liens can take the stress off you while you recover because you don’t have to worry about paying your medical providers out of your own pocket. Those bills will be paid with settlement monies.
Typical types of medical liens
The following is a list of typical entities that have a legal right to file a medical lien against your future settlement or lawsuit win.
Any and all of your medical providers (doctors, hospitals, physical therapists, ambulance, radiological services, etc.)
Your private health insurer
ERISA health insurance plans
Medicaid and/or Medicare
Your automobile insurer, if they have paid through a medical benefits plan in your coverage (MedPay or PIP)
The Veteran’s Administration
How a personal injury attorney can help you reduce your repayment to medical providers
When you hire a personal injury lawyer to help you with your personal injury claim, he or she will take away as many of the headaches associated with your claim as possible. This includes medical liens.
When you are in pain, the last thing you want to do is get in a car and go around getting medical liens signed. In most personal injury law firm practices, you permit your attorney to act as your power of attorney. That means he or she can get a medical lien signed by all parties without you having to do anything.
Most personal injury attorneys will send a letter to each medical provider and participating insurance company involved in the case telling them they represent you. They then periodically request updated medical records and bills. If the providers have filed a lien, a copy will be sent to your attorney.
In addition to representing you in this way, your personal injury attorney can usually negotiate how much to pay back your medical providers or insurers who have a lien on your settlement. Many times they are willing to reduce the amount just because they know an attorney will definitely get the money for them. They won’t have to go chasing after it. This means you may end up with more money.
In addition, if the settlement is not enough to cover all medical expenses or losses you may have incurred, an attorney may be able to persuade them to completely void the lien and any money owed.
If you’ve been injured in a personal injury accident and have questions about any medical liens, give us a call. All initial consultations are free.
If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions related to personal injury law, please call us at 920-725-8464, or toll free at 1-800-529-1552. Our personal injury consultations are always free.
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The content of this blog was prepared by Law Offices of DiRenzo & Bomier, LLC for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or provide legal advice. Laws differ by jurisdiction, and the information in this blog may not apply to you. You should seek the assistance of an attorney licensed to practice in your state before taking any action. Using this blog site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Law Offices of DiRenzo & Bomier, LLC -client relationships can only be created by written contract.