What is a Medical Lien?
When you are in an accident, you can usually file a claim with your insurance company or against the party at fault’s insurance company. If you win the claim, you receive a settlement check to cover the cost of medical bills, property damage, and more. In certain situations, other parties can place a claim on part of your settlement, which is called a lien. A lien is a demand for payment applied from the settlement you receive. Someone to whom you owe money may file the lien against a settlement. In the case of a medical lien, this is usually another party who provided you with medical services. You must repay a lien, or the party can make a claim and take you to court to receive their portion of the money.
However, if you need emergency care and a hospital or medical office places a lien on your future settlement, you should speak with one of our attorneys. We can help you navigate this process.
Who Can Place a Lien on Your Settlement?
A couple of different entities can place a lien on the settlement awarded to you. Your insurance company can issue a lien to recoup any costs spent on your medical care. The extent of the lien can depend on the circumstances of the accident and treatment. A lot of times insurance companies will front the money for payment, expecting that you will win the claim against the other party. They do this knowing they can place a legal hold on your winnings. In most cases it is better to allow this to happen to receive treatment for your injuries right away.
Your medical provider can place a lien on your settlement for the amount owed for your treatment. Doctor’s visits, injury treatment and consultations all have a cost. A lot of times your provider will delay payment if you explain you have been in an accident and are waiting for a settlement to arrive. This gives you the chance to receive proper treatment for your injury before a financial award. However, the treatment still costs money and needs payment when you do get the money. A lien ensures the doctor’s office receives their payment.
If you receive treatment at a hospital after your accident, the hospital can place a lien on your settlement, too. A hospital must provide care, but, depending on the extent of your injuries, surgery and a hospital stay can cost big money.
Are Medical Liens Common?
Medical liens are more common than you think. A lot of medical facilities find it easier to apply a lien and provide treatment as needed instead of waiting for the payment to appear. Delay of care can actually cause more problems down the road, leading to even larger medical bills. As a form of prevention for future problems, the medical provider allows you to get the care you need when you need it.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer to Negotiate Your Lien?
A lawyer may be able to reduce the amount of the lien placed on your settlement. Through negotiations, your Phoenix personal injury lawyer can speak to the medical providers and lessen the payment amount. In rare cases, the payment you owe may be more than the actual settlement amount. In cases like this, it may be beneficial not to sue and to negotiate a lower payment amount with your medical provider. This can only happen through a lawyer and can require someone with experience handling personal injury cases. Having a Phoenix trial lawyer on your side will ensure that you get the help you need paying for your medical care.
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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.