Healthcare in America is a sensitive topic, but it’s commonly acknowledged that people with health insurance tend to get better treatment than people without it. While emergency rooms typically can’t turn away seriously injured or ill patients who are uninsured, these patients may be rushed out the door before getting all the care they need due to fear of unpaid bills.
However, hospitals may give uninsured people who are seriously injured in accidents that weren’t their fault much more comprehensive treatment with the understanding that they’ll be paid back through any compensation that the victims receive. This is called a hospital lien, and it’s designed to protect both hospitals and victims who need treatment.
You May Have a Lien Filed Against You and Not Know It
When hospitals and other healthcare facilities are made aware that patients were hurt in accidents, they may file liens against them for the cost of their treatment. Don’t take this personally! It doesn’t mean the hospital views you as an untrustworthy person. Rather, liens are often filed as a standard practice by hospitals in case a patient doesn’t pay, but later collects a settlement for their other accident-related expenses.
You’ll likely be notified of the lien in the mail along with many other bills after you’ve been discharged from the hospital. It’s important to regularly check your mail and to thoroughly review all documents you receive from the hospital, whether it’s when you’re released or during the days, weeks, and even months after you’ve returned home.
What Should You Do if a Lien Was Filed Against You?
First, it’s important to call a lawyer as soon as possible after a crash, even if you haven’t received notification of a medical lien. But if you haven’t called yet, doing so as soon as you receive the lien is the next best time.
When you contact the Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers at Parrish DeVaughn, we’ll begin protecting your rights immediately. We’ll review the facts of what happened and the details of the lien to help you determine your best options moving forward.
After talking to a lawyer, you should continue to collect and preserve all documents and bills you receive from the hospital. In addition, you should continue to follow the hospital’s or your doctor’s orders. Doing so will not only help you recover faster, but it can also help you when it’s time to pursue compensation for your claim, as well as when negotiating your lien amount with the hospital.
How Much Money Will the Lien Take?
Our lawyers’ goal is to ensure that you don’t pay a penny out of pocket for the lien filed against you. Instead, we’ll work hard to get you a settlement that’s big enough not only to pay for the full lien, but also to compensate you for other expenses, such as property damage (including your vehicle repair costs after a crash) and pain and suffering.
In addition, remember that our attorneys may be able to negotiate your medical bills—and thus your lien—in your favor. For example, if a lien is placed on you immediately after you arrive at the hospital, the cost of your treatments may be grossly overestimated. This is where having a law firm on your side is important, as we’ll ensure that the lien is fair for the care and attention you received.
Liens Don’t Have to be Difficult—We’re Here to Help.
Unfortunately, insurance companies often use medical liens against claimants, and they may even refuse to pay until liens are addressed. But ultimately, liens are just another aspect of claims that must be negotiated, and we have years of experience doing just that.
Don’t let your compensation or finances get lost in the red tape of medical bills, medical liens, and uncooperative insurance companies. Our legal team is here to help you sort it out while you focus on getting better. Contact us today for a free consultation.