Liens And Personal Injury Cases

Liens and personal injury cases

When an accident happens resulting in personal injuries, there will typically be medical bills that follow.  In order to make sure they get paid, 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 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

Hospital Liens 

Hospitals in Massachusetts frequently file liens on injury cases.  Their right to file and enforce these liens is found here. These liens are only considered enforceable, or perfected, if the hospital strictly follows the law in asserting its lien. That means 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 chiropractors and physical therapists.  These service providers frequently file liens on accident cases.

However, unlike hospital liens, their liens are not legally valid or enforceable. Of course, if a balance is owed, they can pursue legal action against the patient for any unpaid bills, but they can’t lien a personal injury case.

Mass Health Liens 

Mass Health provides health insurance to millions of people in Massachusetts that financially qualify. I see Mass Health liens 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 in order for their lien to be valid and enforceable. 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.

Medicare Liens 

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 this oftentimes drawn out process.

If you have further questions, I encourage you to contact us for your free consultation.