When negligence results in bodily harm, victims seeking care are often surprised to learn the medical providers they rely on have put a healthcare lien against their settlement. Unfortunately, it isn’t an uncommon practice for a hospital or health insurer to take this action to ensure they get paid for the services they’ve provided you with for your injuries.
Florida law and the terms of a care provider or insurer often have provisions for reimbursement for their service costs in personal injury cases that stem from negligence. Unfortunately, this is a sometimes unavoidable aspect of the claims process, and these liens can reduce your final recovery by the amount owed. Fortunately, a skilled Orlando personal injury attorney can help negotiate the costs of these liens and potentially minimize how much your healthcare providers take from your settlement or jury award.
What Is a Healthcare Lien?
At its most basic definition, a healthcare lien is a legal avenue from your healthcare provider or insurer to get reimbursed after you recover compensation from the negligent party that did you harm. As mentioned before, this is a common practice in cases involving recklessness and negligence that leads to injuries. The reasoning is that the at-fault party should pay for your care, so when you receive compensation from them, these organizations rely on healthcare liens to get their payment for rendered care to you.
Some counties in Florida have additional laws allowing local hospitals to treat your injuries after an accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence. They, too, are allowed to seek reimbursement by using a lien on any compensation you receive later from the liable party. This applies even if you don’t have personal insurance coverage, as well, because technically, you aren’t paying for these services. Any compensation you receive is intended for the damages caused to you by medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Who Gets Paid First? The Victim or the Healthcare Lien?
Any healthcare liens against your settlement must be paid first before receiving your share in a Florida personal injury case. This means that if your distribution after attorneys fees is $75,000, but there is a lien of $35,000, it will reduce your amount to $40,000. One way to reduce how much your health insurer or doctor gets is to hire an experienced Orlando personal injury attorney. They can negotiate the amount of your lien and often get it significantly reduced, leaving more money for you.
Can I Challenge a Healthcare Lien Put Against My Personal Injury Settlement?
Yes! The first step in challenging a healthcare lien is to determine its validity. Typically, the moment you seek care for your accident injuries, it exists, but the healthcare provider must still file it with the county they operate to get payment later. There is also a deadline for filing the lien, so your attorney must have the experience to determine if your provider met those conditions. Even in situations where it appears a healthcare lien is valid, there are other avenues for challenging it.
For example, your lawyer could submit proof of clerical errors made in the lien’s provisions. Or, you could show the court that the hospital you went to is charging unreasonable rates for the services you received. You will need to research the cost of similar services at nearby health care providers and show how their rates are significantly lower than that of the lien holder.
Don’t Face the Insurance Companies Alone
When you’ve sustained injuries in an accident caused by the reckless actions of another person or company, it’s important to get sound legal advice before making any decisions. Jordan Law has represented countless personal injury victims in Orlando, FL, and provides skilled negotiation with health care providers who have a lien against your future compensation.
Our team of attorneys always puts your best interests and well-being first in everything we do on your behalf. You never have to worry about the status of your case or be left with unanswered questions. We are always available to speak with you about your concerns. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about what rights you have to compensation.