The Effect of Medical Bills on Sarasota Personal Injury Cases
When a victim files a personal injury lawsuit, the victim expects to recover financial compensation for the loss he or she experienced as a result of the accident that another person or entity caused. What the victim does not expect is a reduction of a settlement amount because of medical bill liens. Today, the personal injury attorneys at Hale Law will explain what a medical lien is and how they can affect a victim’s personal injury lawsuit.
What is a Medical Lien?
A medical lien is essentially the same as a property lien. The lien is put in place to collect or settle a debt. Doctors, hospitals, and other medical facilities enforce their right to collect payment for an outstanding debt through a medical lien.
Liens are usually placed against accident victims who can’t pay for medical bills up front in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. When a victim receives a settlement for a personal injury claim or lawsuit, the lien is in place for the debt to be satisfied.
Once a settlement is received, a victim must first pay the medical facility’s lien with the funds received from the settlement. Only after paying off valid liens can they recover the balance.
A Medical Lien is Not Always Valid
It is important to note that a medical lien placed on a victim may not always be valid. The medical facility could have mistakenly filed a medical lien without first consulting a victim’s insurance provider. To be sure, when a personal injury victim has medical insurance, the insurance should be responsible for the medical bills stemming from medical treatment, less the copays and deductibles.
How to Handle a Medical Lien with a Personal Injury Case
- Hire an Attorney. In the event you did not hire a lawyer for your personal injury case, you will want to hire one to help with handling a medical lien if it comes about as the result of accident treatment. Personal injury cases are not recommended to be filed without the legal expertise of a Sarasota personal injury lawyer.
- Challenge it. As mentioned above, liens may be invalid. One way to handle a medical lien is to determine the validity of the lien by disputing the time limits for filing the lien, any clerical errors, and the cost for the services performed at the medical facility. Sometimes other medical facilities have lower rates than the rate listed on the lien.
With the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney, the victim can negotiate a rate to help resolve and discharge the lien.
When You’re Involved in a Personal Injury Accident in Sarasota, Call Hale Law.
If you or someone you know received injuries from a personal injury accident in Sarasota or throughout the State of Florida, contact Hale Law at 305-423-3800 to discuss the personal injury matter. Our Sarasota personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there’s no fee or costs if we can’t recover the compensation you deserve.