What You Should Know About Medical Lien in Personal Injury Settlements
It might surprise you to learn that your personal injury case is subject to a medical lien. A medical lien is a claim asserted by a medical care provider, hospital, or health insurance provider against your settlement. It allows them to recover any medical costs they incurred or paid for during your treatment.
If left unsettled, these medical bills can reflect on your credit report and possibly affect your credit rating. This is why it is crucial to hire a Jersey City Personal Injury Attorney when faced with a medical lien personal injury settlement.
An attorney can help ensure any medical liens are fair to both parties. He/she can also ascertain whether they are related to your injuries and ensure they are finalized, so they don’t pop up again later.
Here is an overview of medical lien cases in New Jersey.
Major Types of Medical Liens in New Jersey
The type of medical liens filed against your settlement will often depend on the nature of the treatment you received for your injuries. Here are the major liens allowed in New Jersey:
- Hospital and Medical Provider Liens
In some cases, your injuries could be so severe that you require extended treatment or care. This could result in large and unprecedented medical bills which you cannot pay for out of pocket. Rather than go into personal debt, your attorney can promise to pay the bills when you receive a settlement.
Subsequently, you will owe the hospital or healthcare provider treating you a payment from your compensation amount. Hospital and medical provider liens can protect your credit rating.
- Health Care Insurance Liens
When the personal injury protection (PIP) provided in your auto insurance is insufficient to cover your medical costs, your healthcare insurance provider could be forced to pay them. They might then seek to recover their losses from your settlement through a process called subrogation.
That said, you are not liable to pay all asserted health insurance liens. New Jersey statues make it illegal for an insurer to demand reimbursement if the health coverage is true insurance.
- Medicare Lien
Medicare liens fall under federal law. According to one statute, if you don’t repay Medicare for the bills paid for your treatment, they can pursue you, your attorney, or the insurance company paying your claim for reimbursement.
- Medicaid Lien
If the New Jersey Medicaid office pays any bills associated with your medical treatment, you must pay them back.
Handling a Medical Lien
Sometimes, a lien can be so large that it surpasses your settlement amount. This situation could leave you with nothing and in debt. Fortunately, it is possible for your attorney to get a lien reduced or withdrawn.
They can convince a lien holder to accept less than the face value of their claim. They can also prove that the holder is not liable for reimbursement.
Discuss Your Medical Lien with an Attorney
Medical lien law is often complicated. If you are not careful, different holders can pile liens on your settlement and leave you with nothing. This is why you should always discuss a medical lien personal injury settlement with a professional before making any reimbursements.
If you are facing a lien claim against your settlement, contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone to schedule a consultation.