Attorneys Know How to Handle a Hospital Lien
A person is injured in an accident by a drunk driver and they are transported by an emergency medical services provider (EMS) to a local Texas hospital. Weeks later they are shocked to receive a letter from the hospital that is a “Notice of Hospital Lien.” It explains how the hospital has a right to take your settlement funds to satisfy your hospital debt. When it comes to medical bills associated with treatment for injuries from the accident, the insurance companies will often not pay them. These liens can be for thousands of dollars. After receiving a hospital lien, it is a time to seek expert legal advice from a hospital lien attorney, who can help you understand your legal right and responsibilities.
Hospital Liens Are Legal
Hospitals have the right to place a lien on a person’s settlement funds under Texas Property Code Chapter 55. They can do this if a person receives medical treatment from the hospital for an accident when they were not at fault. The accident victim must have been admitted to the hospital for treatment within 72 hours after the accident occurred. This statute also makes it possible for an accident victim to receive a lien from EMS if they provided medical services in a Texas county having a population of up to 800,000.
House And Property
Texas hospital liens are not filed against an accident victim’s house or property. The Texas statutes covering hospital liens only gives them the right to collect on any proceeds involving a settlement provided by the person responsible for the accident. They are legally permitted to file a notice of a lien prior to the money being paid.
Validity Of Lien
It’s always important to determine if Texas hospital liens are valid. If a driver who was not at fault for the accident goes to a hospital a few days after an accident, the lien would not be valid. Another requirement is for the accident victim receiving treatment to be admitted to the hospital. It is also important for the hospital to have followed the proper procedure for filing a lien. They must file it in writing prior to a settlement being paid. The lien must be filed in the county where a person received medical treatment. An accident victim’s lawyer must be provided with a written notice of the lien. It must be sent prior to the fifth business day following the hospital being notified from the county clerk the lien was recorded in county records. Not following any of these steps could make the lien invalid.
Negotiating A Hospital Lien
The Texas statute covering hospital liens states a hospital can only charge for an accident victim’s initial 100 days of medical treatment. This will happen in cases where catastrophic injuries have occurred and a significant amount of money is involved. A hospital lien is not permitted to cover any type of charges for services that are more than a regular and reasonable rate. Hospital liens are always based on a chargemaster rate. This means they will contain many different charges that can be inflated well beyond the actual cost of treatment. An experienced hospital lien attorney will know how to negotiate down the price of a hospital lien.
Texas hospital liens are an attempt by a hospital to take as much of an accident victim’s settlement proceeds as permitted by law. To get the best possible result in this situation, an accident victim should discuss it with a knowledgeable attorney. They will know how to protect the rights of an accident victim. These legal professionals will know how to handle a hospital lien and retain as much of an accident victim’s settlement proceeds as possible.
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