How Does a Medical Lien Impact a Car Accident Settlement?
Medical providers may place a lien on a personal injury claim to ensure they get paid back out of the proceeds of personal injury settlements or verdicts for services they previously rendered.
This means your personal injury settlement can be lowered by the amount of the health insurance provider lien.
What is a Lien?
A lien is a type of pre-emptive claim that a creditor (someone to whom money is owed) makes against future financial proceeds received by a debtor to be compensated for money owed by the debtor.
You might have heard of tax liens placed against a home sale for unpaid taxes or bankruptcy liens.
This is a legal right of claim (a lien is a demand) stating that they are owed money because they performed services for you, did not get paid, and the defendant should legally pay for them through the settlement.
Illinois recognizes liens asserted by medical creditors including hospitals, physicians, physical therapists, and chiropractors. A lien is considered to be a legal interest in a particular cause of action.
Liens need to be addressed before the settlement or award proceeds can be distributed to the plaintiff.
Contact us for a free consultation from an attorney about your accident and any outstanding liens. We can see if the person who harmed you may owe you compensation.
What Exactly are Medical Liens?
Under Illinois’s Health Care Services Lien Act (770 ILCS 23/10), the total amount of all medical liens from different creditors involved in the treatment of the plaintiff cannot exceed 40 percent of the plaintiff’s recovery of damages.
The statute divides medical lien-holders into “health care providers” (such as hospitals) and “health care professionals” (such as physicians). If the lien amount is greater than 40 percent of the total recovery, each category of lien-holder is capped at receiving 20 percent of the recovery.
Additionally, neither providers nor professionals separately may have a lien amounting to more than one-third of the injured party's recovery.
An Illinois auto accident attorney can explain more detail about the medical lien law in Illinois and advise you as to how the law impacts settlement funds.
You might experience significant personal injury in an accident that requires extensive medical treatment in an emergency room, hospital, or long-term facility.
Medical bills can rack up quickly and you may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit or multiple personal injury cases with a personal injury lawyer to make up the cost of the medical care.
However, if you choose to do that, and if a personal injury settlement materializes, you must know that the insurance or medical provider may have already or may in the future file a medical lien on that compensation.
Further, their medical lien will most likely articulate that the lien holder should recover money for medical costs and services from the settlement directly to them and not through you.
What Kinds of Liens Are There?
As you can imagine, a lien can come about many different ways after an injury. Several different medical or insurance parties can interact with you after the event and a lien may come about that way.
Normally, we see a few main kinds of lien being attached to settlement proceeds or verdict pay. Of course, yours might be different but these two pop up a lot in these contexts.
The first is a hospital lien. Most states allow hospitals the right of a lien for care given after injury and presentation in the emergency room.
In some cases, they might need you to sign something and follow strict rules in order for it to attach to the settlement. Yet, that does not affect the legality and strength of them.
The second is government lien. Most government programs (VA; Medicare; Medicaid) allow public entities the right to attach a lien or liens and pursue money for care or money given especially following an injury settlement.
Contact a lawyer from our firm over the phone and tell us if someone is saying you need to pay them. Our attorney can negotiate with them and possibly get them to accept less than what they are owed
In a no obligation consultation, we can discuss what financial recovery you could obtain on a contingency fee basis in an attorney client relationship.
A free consultation can show you what personal injury claims you can make in a personal injury case.
These could be against a health insurance company, auto insurance company, other insurance companies, or health insurance provider.
Less frequently, they're brought against medical care providers like government based benefit providers, health insurers, or immediate treatment centers.
It depends upon the liens involved like government liens, settlement liens, medicare liens, etc.
Normally, car accident claims are made for medical expenses, medical services, lost wages, lien agreement breaches, or related losses in a personal injury suit.
We can see what you may get or owe to the healthcare provider or insurance company in a free consultation.
How Could a Medical Lien Affect my Personal Injury Case or Personal Injury Claim?
Auto accident-related case settlements or trials often take place long after medical treatment has been administered to injured parties.
A medical provider is entitled to place a lien, or claim, against the injured party’s monetary settlement or court-awarded damages for the unpaid medical bills.
If a hospital, medical provider, or health insurance company renders medical care or pays money for your medical treatment, then the health care provider, government agency, or other party may file a medical lien against you.
This will affect your personal injury lawsuit, worker’s compensation, or settlement so it is important to understand what it means.
A medical lien is a legal claim, normally filed by insurance companies and medical providers, stating that a third party should get paid back directly for treatment it gave you after an accident.
Providers ask for this so they do not have to sue the injured or their personal injury attorneys. This right of action is called subrogation.
Here's how it would work. The medical providers would place a lien soon after offering health care equal to or less than the amount of the medical bills.
After you got the settlement, award compensation, worker’s compensation, insurance policy, or other monies, the lien would require that a portion of that sum goes to them for their services before you receive anything.
If you want to know more about liens in an auto injury case, contact our law firm now for legal advice from attorneys that care.
We can help negotiate with providers, another lawyer or attorney, hospital, the government, or anyone else making a claim against the injured after an accident.
We may be able to negotiate a settlement to maximize the proceeds that go to the injured.
We can stand up to the big health insurance companies or hospital if they file a lien (or if they made you sign a lien after injury) for any medical bills or if they’re arguing that they should get paid from any jury award or settlement compensation money you received.
Liens on Auto Accident Cases and a Personal Injury Settlement can be a Big Deal
A medical lien is a secured interest in your case and is legally binding. Your failure to address the presence of a lien can create big problems for you in the future.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC regularly negotiates physician, chiropractic, Medicare, hospital, and health insurance liens on behalf of our clients.
The reduction of medical liens puts more settlement money into your pocket. It also gives you the peace of mind that the bill was properly negotiated and paid.
Upon the resolution of every client’s case, we provide you with a copy of the lien reduction correspondence as well as a copy of the check that was sent to the provider.
Call for a free consultation if someone else's negligence harmed you. You could get compensation and pay for your injuries.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer if You Have Questions About a Medical Lien in an Illinois Car Accident Case.
The world of medical liens can be difficult to navigate if you have not dealt with them before. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, our staff is familiar with all types of liens in personal injury cases.
When you retain our firm for your personal injury case, you can rest assured that our office will work tirelessly to ensure that all lien-holder interest is satisfied and reduced to the fullest extent of the law.