When you’re waiting on your settlement in a personal injury case, you may need to seek elsewhere for help getting your bills paid. Perhaps you’ll use your personal health insurance or file for Medicaid. Maybe your doctor will still provide care without payment, expecting it to come at the time of your settlement. In any case, there are people willing to help, but they may file a lien on your personal injury settlement. The following are four parties that may do this.
Health Insurance Providers
When your health insurance steps in to cover the costs of your medical bills while you’re waiting for a settlement, they will often assert a medical lien on your settlement. If you lose the case and there is no settlement, the health insurance provider may take no action and will typically continue to cover the costs of your medical bills.
If you don’t have health insurance or any other means by which to pay your medical bills while waiting for a settlement, many healthcare providers are understanding. They will obviously want payment for the healthcare provided to you, but will enter into an agreement called a “Letter of Protection.” This agreement is signed by you and your attorney, promising the healthcare provider will receive compensation from the settlement when the attorney is settling your liens and other financial obligations.
Medicaid or Medicare
Even when you decide not to pursue a claim, if you utilize Medicaid to pay for your medical bills, the state may pursue a claim on your behalf. If you do file a claim, Medicaid can assert a lien on your settlement, but only for the payments that are directly related to your injury.
Auto Insurance Providers
If your auto insurance policy provides coverage, and you used that coverage to help with medical payments, your auto insurer could place a lien on your personal injury settlement. In some cases, there is a base of $5,000 or another amount at which you must receive in a settlement if the auto insurer plans to receive compensation through a lien.
Understanding the Specifics
Sometimes the best way to understand the specifics regarding your case and the liens that might be present is by speaking with a professional who has dealt with situations closely similar to your own. Contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, today to ask any questions about liens, settlements, and anything else related to your case.