What Does It Mean if There Is Lien Against My Personal Injury Settlement?

doctor typing on computer with stethoscope

When you are involved in a car collision, slip-and-fall, or premises liability incident, you may be hit with exuberant medical expenses. Because hospitals must treat all patients with life-threatening injuries regardless of their medical insurance coverage, you may find a lien placed against you. This is to ensure they receive payment for the services provided. Keep reading to learn more about this process and discover how an Ouachita Parish, Louisana personal injury lawyer can help you with any issues.

What Is a Lien?

When many people think of a lien, they assume it has to do with a mortgage or property related-debt. However, there are other kinds you should know about, including medical liens.

A medical lien is an amount owed to an insurance company or healthcare provider from a lawsuit settlement to cover the cost of medical treatment after an accident. As such, some or all of the funds from the compensation you receive for your injuries can go directly to a third party. Standard entities that place liens on settlements include government agencies like Medicaid, a healthcare provider or facility, or an insurance provider.

It’s important to understand that if your settlement amount is less than the cost of your medical expenses, the entity that placed a lien on you can still pursue you for the remainder. This is also true if you lose your personal injury lawsuit. You will be personally responsible for paying back the remaining amount.

Can an Attorney Help?

When injured in a car crash or premises liability incident, you’ll likely be stressed enough without worrying about paying your medical lien. As such, it’s essential to enlist the assistance of an attorney.

In some instances, the lien may be deemed invalid, meaning you cannot be held legally responsible for paying the amount. This can happen when it is not addressed to the correct recipient or is not filed in the proper time frame. Hospitals in Georgia only have 75 days from the date of your discharge to file a lien against you.

Similarly, an attorney may be able to help fight against unfair liens. In some instances, they can work with the creditor to negotiate the amount owed or allow the target of the lien to make monthly payments. This is often the case when a victim loses a lawsuit. Many hospitals realize that it is time-consuming and costly to sue every individual who cannot pay their lien in a lump sum, so many facilities and providers are willing to negotiate with an attorney.

As you can see, medical liens can be complex, especially for those focused on healing. As such, it’s in your best interest to enlist the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney from Breithaupt, DuBos, & Wolleson, LLC. Our dedicated legal team will do everything possible to help you recover the damages you are entitled to while handling any unfair liens placed against you. Contact us today to learn how we can help you through this challenging time.

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