Medical Liens: How an Attorney Can Help You Get Treatment
One method of paying for your medical bills after a car accident is to sign a medical lien. This is a contract between a hospital and a patient that states that the hospital will provide care for the patient’s injuries while he or she is filing a personal injury claim and will demand repayment when the claim is settled.
While many accident victims sign medical liens during their claims, it is important to discuss all options with an attorney first to ensure you are receiving the best deal possible.
What Is a Medical Lien?
A medical lien is a legally binding contract for when a hospital or doctor agrees to treat an accident victim’s injuries until the victim receives compensation in a civil claim. Once the patient receives compensation from the at-fault party, the hospital will be paid for the patient’s treatment. If you sign a medical lien with your provider, you can receive immediate care for your injuries without having to pay any upfront costs.
A lien has an element of risk in it, however. If you lose your case, you may have to pay the remaining expenses out-of-pocket. Even if you do receive compensation, it may not be enough to cover all of your medical bills. In these cases, the hospital could still demand you pay them the leftover amount. Or, if you received money for your lost wages or pain and suffering, they could claim a portion of those.
Doctors also do not like these scenarios, as they are essentially agreeing to work for free on the assumption that they will be paid down the line. Because of this, not all doctors or hospitals offer liens, and the ones that do will only pick cases where they believe the patient has a high chance of winning.
Can an Attorney Help Me With a Lien?
Anytime you are asked to sign a legally binding document, it is important to have an experienced lawyer at your side. At Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, our Orange County personal injury attorneys have helped numerous clients after accidents and can explain when a medical lien is a fair deal.
It is important to remember that medical liens are negotiable. A skilled attorney can work with a hospital or doctor to reduce the medical bills and limit the amount of money they can claim from a lien. This ensures that the accident victim receives the most out of his own claim and does not end up having to dip into other damages to pay for his medical bills. If you end up losing your case, your attorney may also be able to have the lien discounted or dismissed.
Liens are not the only options for paying for medical treatment after an accident. MedPay, health insurance, and other local healthcare programs may be available to reduce the overall costs of your bills.
In all of these scenarios, one thing stays the same: it is important to work with an attorney who knows how to negotiate with medical providers and insurance companies. Our team at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie has more than 40 years of experience advocating for people injured by negligence throughout Orange County. We can review your case in a free consultation, look over all of your options to get treatment, and fight to get you the best deal possible, both in a medical lien and a personal injury claim. To talk to us today, call us at (949) 752-7474.
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