Many are shocked to learn that, in some situations, a health insurer, hospital, or the federal government can file a claim against a personal injury award. When one files a claim to recover the cost of medical treatment, the people paying those costs may be able to file a lien against the settlement. Some jurisdictions prohibit insurers from including lien clauses in policies, so victims should check state laws.
Hospital and Medical Provider Liens
In certain areas, a hospital may file a lien for repayment of money spent on treatment and care for accident victims. Some providers ask patients to sign lien letters before treatment is received. To be enforced, these liens must follow strict protocols, such as:
* The lien should be filed with the county where the person received treatment within six months of their release date.
* The lien should have the patient’s proper name and address along with the hospital’s address, and the date service was received.
If the medical facility fails to comply, the lien cannot be enforced. Hospitals should first bill the health insurance company before trying to collect on a lien.
Worker’s Comp Liens
If a person is hurt on the job, a worker’s comp lien can be issued if payment has been made for lost wages or medical bills. The lien amount is equivalent to the payments made under worker’s compensation. Laws vary by jurisdiction, and it is important for a Personal Injury Attorney in Centralia WA to determine whether a worker’s comp carrier can issue a lien on a settlement.
Government Liens for Medicaid and Medicare
Generally, if the government pays for any part of someone’s medical care, they can be compensated if the person later receives a personal injury settlement. Depending on the program, the VA, Medicaid, and Medicare all have different lien rights. Consult a local lawyer with Putnamlieb.com for more information.
Call an Attorney
If a hospital, worker’s comp carrier or state entity requests reimbursement, it’s important for the client to know why and how the company has the right to ask for repayment. Lien laws are very complex, and a Personal Injury Attorney in Centralia WA can often find ways to eliminate or reduce a personal injury lien.
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