Healthcare Lien

The Healthcare Lien: What’s Eating at your Injury Settlement

As you know, from your injury settlement you will have to pay your lawyer and any out-of-pocket medical expenses.  But did you know this? Any medical bills that were paid through health insurance including Medicare, Medicaid, or any private or employer-based plans will likely have a healthcare lien associated with those payments.  A healthcare lien is a legal right by the insurance provider to go after injury settlement funds. In other words, the health insurance provider wants to be reimbursed for medical expense payments.

For example, let us say you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and suffer a broken leg.  You receive 6 months of treatment and your private health insurance pays $20,000 toward that treatment.  You make a claim against the other driver for negligence and settle that claim for $50,000.00.   Your health insurance provider may require reimbursement for the full $20,0000. In this case, your settlement is significantly smaller than expected.

Many times, however, an aggressive attorney can negotiate those liens down to a lesser amount using certain time-tested strategies such as downplaying the likelihood of you winning your case at trial and/or advising that the settlement funds were offered in part for future medical treatment.   Unfortunately, some health care providers will simply refuse to reduce their lien.  In those instances, it is imperative that your attorney use that as leverage against the responsible party to increase their settlement offer.

If you have questions about a healthcare lien, contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.


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