hospital-liens-graphic

Hospital Liens

Let a Lawyer Help You Understand Hospital Liens

Ever heard of a hospital lien? You probably have if you’ve been the victim of an accident. But if not, it is important to understand what a lien is in case you are injured in the future.

What is a Hospital Lien?

First, a lien is defined as a legal claim that someone has on the property of another person until their debt has been repaid. More specifically, a hospital lien occurs when a patient is injured due to the actions of another person. In this case, the hospital or emergency service provider would attach a claim to your lawsuit if you had needed their services within 72 hours of your accident. This means that the insurance company must include the hospital in any settlement checks. The purpose for this is to encourage hospitals to give fast treatment to injured victims, even if the victims would normally be unable to pay for these services. This allows the patient to have great care and service despite financial difficulties.

Insurance Adjusters: How to Watch Out

Watch out for hospitals abusing the system and seeking payments higher than they would normally receive. Many accident victims face problems with settlements and the hospitals taking more money than they think they should. Some hospitals do not file liens because they believe it causes ill will between some patients that have insurance, but most Texas hospitals do. Most hospitals file liens right away in anticipation that you will receive a settlement. You may be wondering why hospitals don’t just bill the insurance companies, and it is for the same reason as before: maximum payout. Hospitals often believe that holding out for a hefty settlement check will get them more money in the end, which is often the case. So, these hospitals usually do not interact much with insurance, usually just at the get go to let them know, yes we did file a lien on your client’s case. Often they do not negotiate with insurance for these reasons. The main difference on their side is that if they did go through insurance they would get a contractual amount and a lot less money. Some hospitals argue that insurance companies cut the money due on the hospital bill, so they have to charge more to make up for that cut.

So, what does this mean for you? It means that the hospital will get paid back before you get a settlement from the accident the victim was involved in. It also means that the hospital will take some of the money that should be going to you to compensate for the other bills that were accrued during medical leave from work. Seems silly right? Considering you pay for your insurance, and now it is barely being used in a situation that seems to call for it.
If you receive a letter alerting you of a hospital lien, have your personal injury attorney closely check it out for you.

It is easier to understand where there are caps, than to understand why there are caps. Damage caps exist in medical malpractice lawsuits, lawsuits involving punitive damages, and lawsuits against government entities. In 2003 Texas passed the Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act to limit the maximum amount of money a person can receive for non-economic damages.

McMinn and Liens

It is clearly important to have a great lawyer in these situations that understands how hospitals treat liens. You want a lawyer with your best interest at heart that will work towards getting you the money you deserve.
When it comes to understanding and working with liens, the McMinn brothers are the best. They have dealt with liens on numerous cases, and explain that when the settlement checks come in, the hospital must be paid before the rest of the money can go to the client. They explain that if they do not pay the hospital first, they can sue them directly to collect the outstanding balance. There are some cases where liens do not get filed, and in these instances, the McMinn brothers ask their clients whether they would like them to settle or negotiate outstanding bills. The brothers feel that in cases where there is no lien field they are able to reduce bills more and bargain more with the hospital. But, whatever situation you are in with your lien, the McMinn brothers have handled it before. If you or a loved one is injured, or you need more help understanding a lien, contact McMinn at 512-474-0222 or email info@mcminnlaw.com.