When a person arrives at a hospital after a severe accident, there is no time to check their insurance and make sure they have the coverage required for the care they need. Texas law requires that hospitals provide treatment to anyone in need of emergency medical attention. So, what happens when a person receives medical care that they are not insured for and cannot pay for on their own? In the state of Texas, these types of debts are handled through medical liens. If you have been involved in a car accident in Texas and have had a medical lien placed on you, contact an experienced car accident attorney to help get it reduced or removed.
What are Medical Liens?
Liens allow hospitals that provide emergency care to uninsured patients to claim a portion of any legal award that the patient might receive for the accident. A hospital has a lien on a cause of action or claim of an individual who receives hospital services for injuries caused by an accident that is attributed to the negligence of another person.
Liens are attached to a personal injury claim, providing a hospital with the ability to claim a percentage of a settlement or verdict claimed from the negligent party or their insurance company. A lien is typically sent as a notice to the person who received treatment. Liens are transferable between hospitals.
Liens may attach to the following:
- Court judgments
- Insurance settlements
- Workers’ compensation claims
Why is a Car Accident Attorney So Important in Dealing with a Medical Lien?
Liens are difficult because some insurers will not honor a medical claim until the lien is addressed. This is because hospitals stand to make much more off a lien on a personal injury claim than if they went through a person’s health insurance. So, the other party’s insurance may refuse to pay a settlement until a lien is taken care of by the claimant. Claimants who desperately need a settlement often think that they must accept losing most of it to a hospital lien. However, this is not always the case with the help of an experienced car accident lawyer.
Sometimes, the size of a lien may be reduced through negotiation by your car accident lawyer. While hospitals and other medical care providers have teams of lawyers at their disposal, an experienced car accident attorney will know how to deal with this type of legal opposition. It is important that you have a legal team that will never settle for less than a client deserves and won’t hesitate to hold at-fault parties accountable while making sure you can get the medical care you need.
Why Aren’t Insurance Companies Involved?
It really comes down to just money. Hospitals are hoping to come away with more money from your injury case settlement. If they go through your health insurance company, they are obliged to receive a contractual rate. With a hospital lien, the hospital may end up receiving the full amount of the original bill from the settlement. As you probably know, hospital charges tend to be on the high end, so these figures are much greater than the contractual rates that are attached to insurance companies.
If you need the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney contact any of our office locations.
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