Liens Are An Absolute Windfall For Medical and Insurance Companies
Chicago accident lawyer explains medical liens
Lawyers representing injured people sometimes don’t clearly explain the effect of liens on a case. A lien allows a insurance company and/or doctor or hospital to guarantee payment out of the settlement monies paid to the injured person. All health insurance policies have language requiring the insured to repay them in the event he/she recovers money in a personal injury lawsuit. Workers Compensation insurers have this same advantage.
The lien is an absolute windfall to the insurance industry and the medical profession.
If a person wrongfully injured in a car crash, gets medical treatment but decides not to sue, the insurance company still must pay the medical bills without receiving any money paid back. Although the insurance company could sue the defendant driver for the medical bills it paid out, it almost never happens. If this seems unfair it is. Blame Springfield and the lobbyists for the insurance industry.
Medical lien payback negotiation
Lien paybacks can be reduced to some extent through negotiation. Liens for unpaid medical bills present another problem. The doctor or hospital can accept partial payment of a lien but still later pursue the injured person for the balance. The lobbyists for the medical profession also have a lot of political influence.
Both sides have a incentive to negotiate a agreement about the amount to be repaid. If an agreement can’t be reached, then the plaintiff’s lawyer (representing the injured party) can ask the court to either throw out the lien or reduce it’s value. The court’s are reluctant to completely set aside a lien. The lien tends to be another obstacle to settlement.
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Posted on Fri, April 25, 2014
by Thomas Tobin