Stephen Hasner | Personal Injury | April 29, 2022
Whether you are injured because of a fall, dog bite, car accident, or other cause, you incur medical bills for the treatment of your injuries. You are responsible for paying those medical bills. Your health insurance company should pay for medical care after an accident if you have health insurance.
However, if you do not have health insurance, the medical provider can place a lien on your personal injury settlement under O.C.G.A. §§414-14-470 through 476.
When Can a Medical Provider File a Lien on a Personal Injury Case in Georgia?
A medical provider that has a doctor on staff can file a medical lien against personal injury settlement proceeds. The lien is not against you. However, it is against the proceeds of any settlement or jury verdict you receive from the party who caused your injuries.
Unfortunately, you cannot ignore medical liens in personal injury cases. If you do not pursue a claim against the at-fault party for damages, the health care providers can file a lawsuit against the parties who caused your injuries. If you receive a settlement for your injury case, you must pay the medical liens or face legal action.
Your personal injury lawyer might negotiate with the providers to accept a lower payment to satisfy their medical liens. However, the medical providers are not required to negotiate liens. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer working on your case means you have someone who understands that law and the best ways to address medical liens.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me with a Medical Lien?
Your attorney works to reduce the medical liens in your personal injury case to keep as much money in your pocket as possible. Your attorney might fight the medical lien by:
- Negotiating with medical providers to lower the amount of the lien
- Challenging the validity of the lien based on the statute of limitations or failing to perfect the lien
- Attacking the claim based on unreasonable medical charges
- Stating you might not pursue a personal injury claim because it is not worth your time and expense if you do not receive any money
- Approaching physicians before they file liens to work out an agreement since you share a common interest in settling the case
Understanding the law governing medical liens is essential. An experienced personal injury attorney understands medical liens and begins working on resolving this issue when he accepts the case. An aggressive offense is the best way to handle medical liens.
Insurance Subrogation Claims in Personal Injury Cases
You might not need to worry about medical liens in a personal injury case if you have health insurance. Your health insurance provider pays the medical bills you incur because of an accident or injury. However, subrogation claims can also reduce the amount you receive for a personal injury settlement.
Health insurance policies generally contain subrogation clauses. These clauses entitle the insurance companies to reimbursement from the personal injury settlement for medical bills they paid. Additionally, the subrogation clauses require you to cooperate in pursuing a subrogation claim directly against the party who caused your injury.
In other words, the insurance company can claim a portion of your personal injury settlement or jury verdict. Medicaid and Medicare also assert subrogation claims against personal injury settlements.
As with medical liens, you cannot avoid or ignore a subrogation claim. Failing to pay a subrogation claim could result in legal action. It could also impact future health insurance coverage.
Your personal injury attorney works to settle subrogation claims for less than the claim amount. While insurance providers are not required to accept less for their claims, many providers agree to settle the claims when the settlement proceeds do not sufficiently compensate you for your injuries and losses.
What Should You Do After an Injury or Accident?
Report the injury or accident immediately and seek medical treatment for your injuries. Delaying medical care because you think you cannot afford the care could hurt your injury claim. On the other hand, prompt medical treatment helps support your allegations that the other party’s negligence or wrongdoing caused you to sustain physical harm.
As soon as you can, contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer. Your attorney advises you about your legal options to recover compensation for injuries and damages. The lawyer gathers evidence proving causation, fault, and liability.
Furthermore, an accident lawyer begins addressing medical liens and subrogation liens now instead of waiting until the end of the case. Again, the goal is to get you the most money available for your personal injury claim.
Contact the Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers at Hasner Law, P.C. For Help
We serve in Fulton County, Chatham County, and its surrounding areas: