Many of those who are pursuing personal injury claims are motivated by the amount of settlement they stand to gain in the end. Some are excessively greedy and chose to forego an attorney’s services so that they will maximise their profits. However, they realised quickly that personal injury settlements are not as easy as getting a handsome payout and using it to improve your life after an injury. One of the key elements that significantly reduce your final compensation is a lien. This denotes a party’s right to claim part of your settlement.
Without the help of a personal injury lawyer, different lien holders in Townsville will have to go through your payout fast and leave you with little even after a handsome payout. Among the lien holders who have left an injured party almost penniless are medical lien holders. Contractual medial liens are claims for the payment of medical services rendered from part of your payout.
The following are the standard medical lien holders in personal injury cases:
Health Care Providers
A few doctors, independent clinics, and hospitals will agree to provide medical care after an accident on a lien basis. Some insurance companies have a list of health care providers they work with so check with your insurer before settling on one. The health care provider will have a letter of protection for you to sign. This document guarantees their right to get payment from your eventual settlement.
Health Insurance Companies
Many people assume that an insurance policy automatically negates a medical lien. Your health insurer will, however, also place a lien on your payout to recoup their costs after your settlement.
The reasoning behind this practice is that you should not get paid twice — by an insurer and in your injury payout — for the same service. You can opt to forego using your insurance for your medical costs and to meet the expenses in cash. This allows you to negotiate lower prices for different services with your healthcare provider.
Government Programs and Agencies
Most governments have insurance policies in place for their citizens. These allow you to access medical care at a subsidised price if you meet specific criteria and pay a specified premium. Government programs and agencies, like private insurers, will also have a lien on your insurance payout to guarantee that you do not get paid twice for one medical service.
Workers Compensation Benefits
This applies if you were injured at your workplace. A workers compensation benefits program will ordinarily foot the medical costs of your healthcare and would place no lien on your payout if you are suing your employer for injuries. If you are using a third party, however, your worker’s compensation will have a lien on your payout.
Medical care is essential after an injury regardless of its extent. Some of the above medical lien holders might, unfortunately, take advantage of your injury to unjustly increase the costs of your medical care and benefit from the huge payment from your settlement. An attorney is essential in this case to ensure that the lien holder only gets what is rightfully theirs and minimise the chances of you getting fleeced off your entire payout.