How a Lien Can Affect Your Personal Injury Case
Lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent disability, and hospital bills that seem to have an extra digit or two of zeros placed on the end—these are just a few of the types of damages that victims suffer in personal injury cases such as traffic collisions or slip and falls. Victims often depend on every penny that they recover from the negligent party to pay their mortgages, grocery bills, and property damage. Unfortunately, medical providers, health insurance companies, and Medicare can all file a lien on your settlement. This can drastically reduce the amount of compensation that you end up with in your bank account. An experienced Orlando personal injury attorney can help you reduce any liens, as well as increase the total compensation you receive.
Health Insurance Provider Lien
Health insurance companies are able to place a lien on your personal injury claim through a process called subrogation, or claw back. The amount of money through claw back that your health insurance company is allowed to take from your claim depends on the wording in your policy. In many cases, health insurance companies do not reclaim the full amount that they paid for the victim’s medical care. However, in some cases subrogation can leave a victim with nothing. In the Supreme Court case, U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen, a plaintiff injured in a car wreck accumulated hospital bills totalling $66,866, which his health insurance plan paid for. The injuries left him functionally disabled, and he required a hip replacement and extensive physical therapy. The plaintiff recovered $110,000 from multiple third parties, of which his attorney fees amounted to $44,000 (40 percent). This left him with $66,000 left over, which his insurance company reclaimed through claw back. In fact, his insurance company reclaimed the full $66,866, leaving the plaintiff with negative $866 when it was all said and done, according to the Department of Labor.
Hospital or Medical Provider Lien
Hospitals and doctors can also file a lien for repayment with a personal injury claim. In some cases, doctors do not charge their patients anything until after the plaintiff wins their personal injury claim. However, they often charge higher fees than they would if they were being paid through an insurance company. This means that patients may be stuck with enormous doctor’s bills if their claim fails, according to the Washington Post.
Medicaid and Medicare Lien
As with private insurers, Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA can all reclaim portions of a settlement from a personal injury claim if they paid for part of the plaintiff’s medical care. The amount that any of these government institutions can recover depends on the specific agency’s policy.
Call an Orlando Personal Injury Attorney Who Can Help Your Retain Your Compensation
An attorney can help you maximize the amount of compensation that you retain, and increase the compensation you take home. Our Orlando personal injury attorneys at the Payer Law can help you get started today. Call us at 407-307-2979 to schedule a free consultation.