In certain cases of personal injury, groups like insurance carriers, government entities or worker’s comp carriers often help cover medical costs for victims. These groups are commonly owed any amounts they’ve spent to cover such damages, and these amounts will often come out of a personal injury settlement or judgement in the form of a lien.
At the offices of John D. Halepaska, a personal injury attorney on our staff will be happy to assist you with understanding how liens work, plus help you negotiate and reduce or even void certain lien claims in your case. Let’s look at how this works and what you should be expecting if a lien has been filed against your settlement.
Medical Expenses and Liens
As we noted above, it’s common for outside groups to cover medical costs when the victim in question is unable to do so in the short-term. This includes cases where the victim may have had their injuries caused by negligence of another party, and may be formulating a personal injury case against this party.
In such cases, these outside groups are eligible to file a lien against any settlement proceeds. If a court determines that the responsible party must pay funds to the victim for their injuries and other issues, the lien will be based on these funds.
The process of filing a claim or asserting a lien to recover such medical funds is known as subrogation. It’s most commonly carried out by insurance companies, which will cover expenses up-front but are diligent and exacting about receiving their funds back in return down the line.
Lien claims and their success will depend on a few different factors, including the language used in the insurance policy, whether the lien claimant was actively involved in the case, and whether any liens are being reduced with attorney fees in mind.
Medical Providers and Negotiation
In some cases, medical providers or hospitals will ask an injured person to sign a lien stating that they’ll submit to repayment based on their personal injury settlement or judgement. This is a process that follows state laws – if this is not done, the lien may not be enforceable.
Now, it’s vital to note that liens of this type may be negotiable through a qualified personal injury lawyer. Your attorney will often be able to convince a lien holder to accept less, or even in some cases to waive or void the claim altogether – this will depend entirely on the facts involved in the case and any previous agreements you entered into.