Personal injury claims can be complicated and lengthy. Each case is different and though you obviously hope your claim can be settled in a timely manner, it isn’t always as straightforward as that. A big issue affecting people after accidents is the medical costs associated with injuries, and the liens which may be levied after a settlement.
It’s important to know that liens can be quite common in personal injury cases. A lien is a legal right to another party’s property by a creditor. In essence this means that if you owe a hospital money they may have a legal right to obtain it – in this case through your personal injury settlement.
Liens can arise more commonly in personal injury cases because emergency medical treatment is needed and the hospital in question may not be covered by your insurance. A hospital may also enact a lien if the entire amount of your medical bills are not covered by your insurance.
Laws vary from state to state in terms of how and when hospitals can pursue liens in personal injury cases, so you should speak to your attorney to see what the situation is for you. There are certain requirements the hospital must undertake for a lien to be legally recognized. If they fail to comply the lien is not enforceable. That doesn’t mean you are not responsible for the payment, only that there isn’t a lien in place.
Can I Negotiate a Lien?
It is possible to negotiate the amount of the lien, meaning you may be able to pay less than the full amount. This is important because liens can often be an inflated amount, far more than the hospital will charge the insurance companies.
Lien law is extremely complex and you should find legal representatives that have experience in this area if you are dealing with one. If you’re concerned about your personal injury claim and if a hospital may levy a lien against your settlement, contact the team at Franco Firm who can help you get the best out of your claim.