Liens And Personal Injury Cases
When an accident happens resulting in personal injuries, there will be medical bills that follow. Sometimes medical service providers as well as health insurance companies file liens on personal injury claims. But what exactly is a lien and who files them? Here are some answers.
What Is A Lien?
A lien is a legal interest in the outcome of a case asserted by a third-party. In the context of personal injury law, it is a right of reimbursement out of the proceeds of a case.
Types Of Liens
Hospitals in Massachusetts frequently file liens on injury cases. Their right to file and enforce these liens is found at here. These liens are only considered enforceable, or perfected, if the hospital strictly follows the law in asserting its lien. The lien must be sent via certified mail and must meet other statutory requirements.
Physical Therapist And Chiropractor Liens
Frequently car accident and slip and fall injury victims seek medical treatment for their soft tissue injuries with chiropractic and physical therapists. These service providers frequently file liens on accident cases.
However, unlike hospital liens, their liens are not legally valid or enforceable. If course, if a balance is owed, they can pursue legal action against the patient for unpaid bills.
Mass Health Liens
Mass Health provides health insurance to millions of people in Massachusetts that financially qualify. I see these being filed more and more on workers compensation cases in Massachusetts, even when Mass Health did not pay any bills on behalf of the claimant.
These liens are automatic and do not require any action on the part of Mass Health to enforce their liens. At the time of settlement the liability insurance company paying the settlement will check with Mass Health to see if they are owed money. If they are, then they must be paid out of the settlement.
For people that receive Medicare health insurance due to age or social security disability, they may be dealing with a Medicare lien filed against their case. Like with Mass Health, these liens are automatic and do not require any particular action for the lien to be enforceable. The Medicare lien resolution process is never easy or fast, and your attorney can assist with the process.
If you have further questions, I encourage you to contact us for your free consultation.