Personal injury claims are not always as simple as submitting a claim to an insurance company or filing a lawsuit when a claim is denied. One potential complication is that medical treatment that is necessary at the time of the injury may not be paid first by the responsible insurance provider or respondent party. Many times personal insurance will be used first for initial medical treatment or for any treatment during the time between injury occurrence and an ultimate claim settlement. Some medical providers and insurance companies, not to mention the government Medicare and Medicaid agencies, have the legal authority to file liens for payment with the court when a settlement is pending. These liens may often significantly reduce the total amount of the settlement in some cases because they are deducted first from any respondent party payout.
Insurance Company Liens
Individuals with private insurance will commonly use their personal insurance coverage first unless the incident is a car accident and they carry full medical coverage or personal injury protection on their policy. This is known as subrogation in the insurance industry. Companies that pay insurance benefits for initial treatment have a right to recover their costs when they are ultimately not responsible to provide benefits that are the responsibility of another provider.
Medical Bill Liens
Some medical treatment providers will treat a patient even when they have no particular guarantee of payment at the time. They have the choice of billing the patient directly or filing with the court when a settlement will eventually be paid. This process can insure that there will be no lingering financial charges left after the fact in most cases. This authority applies to any medical treatment facility, doctor, or rehabilitation specialist who has treated the claimant for injuries suffered in a covered accident or other personal injury incident.
Potential Lien Avoidance or Reduction
One primary problem with liens being filed against a settlement is the amount of money and the rates charged by medical facilities and treatment professionals. There are cases where liens will consume a substantial portion of a settlement, especially in cases where the respondent insurance company has bargained for a much lower settlement payoff. However, a comprehensive and aggressive personal injury lawyer can sometimes be successful in negotiating a lower rate from treatment providers when they can prove that the charges are unusually high and that they place an undue hardship on the injured victim. Additionally, insurance companies can also overstate payouts in some cases or file excessive surcharges that can be blocked by the court.
What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do For Your Claim
Dealing with medical liens and subrogation submissions are a fact of life in the legal industry for many injured accident victims. However, it is just as important to keep medical treatment facilities and insurance companies honest in recollection as it is when negotiating a payout for damages. It is always important to retain a personal injury lawyer who will be steadfast in making sure that all facts and figures associated with any liens are accurate in all details and that their victim client does not get victimized again through the claim settlement process. All insurance companies are in the business for profit, and many times those profits are not generated fairly and ethically. A personal injury lawyer from our firm can help keep all parties honest during a claim settlement process.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Call our office today if you have liens being filed in your injury case and let us conduct a full investigation into your situation. It is never wise to accept an insurance settlement without legal evaluation and assistance. A personal injury lawyer from our office may be able to help you with your claim.
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