What to Do if a Hospital Lien Has Been Put on Your Auto Accident Injury Claim
If you were recently treated for injuries you sustained in a car accident and were unable to cover the expenses out of your pocket or through your insurance provider, the hospital has likely placed a lien on your auto accident claim. The hospital places a lien as a way to ensure that they will be paid the hospital facilities you have availed during your recovery.
The best part about liens is that they allow hospitals to provide emergency services to uninsured individuals. They are not only about making more money for the hospital as they facilitate the underprivileged population, but they are often used for this purpose. Hospitals and doctors do this lawfully, and there is no chance that you can ignore it once you have been notified.
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Why do Hospitals Place Liens?
Hospital liens are usually placed on accident injury claims because hospitals want to get more money out of your case. So, to avoid the contractual amount that your health insurance provider will give, the hospital is likely to place a lien to get the full due amount instead. The hospital lien will allow the hospital to obtain a percentage of the settlement that is made between you and the negligent party or your insurance provider.
Hospitals aim to obtain full coverage of the expenses you have from your injury, and this is done the minute you are given those long hospital forms to fill out and sign. If you have never noticed, one of the forms you are asked to sign is a Letter of Protection. If you agree to sign this form, you are agreeing to pay the hospital using the money you receive through your claim with your insurance provider. If you do not sign this letter, a lien is likely to be placed on your settlement.
What to Do After the Hospital Has Placed the Lien
With the lien already placed, your claim and the compensation that was due might likely be at risk because most insurance companies do not settle claims until the hospital lien has been addressed. Thus, you need to take fast action to guarantee that you get the compensation you need after the accident.
The only way to resolve a hospital lien is by agreeing to pay the hospital through the money you get from your auto accident injury claim. If you ignore the lien and do not pay the hospital, the hospital can sue you by law, and you would have to contact your Spokane personal injury lawyer in such a case. If you hide your insurance settlement from the hospital, it may result in severe consequences, including added penalties or even criminal charges.
Thus, it is best to make a settlement with the hospital and pay them with the compensation you get from your injury claim. You can work out the details with your lawyer and try to make an offer that will appease the hospital and get the lien removed so that your insurance company can finally pay you. Please do not ignore the lien or hope that it will go away because this will only get you into more trouble with the hospital and the party making the settlement.
A hospital lien can be quite concerning, especially if you do not understand what it entails. However, equipping yourself with some research can make a big difference in how you handle the situation. Understand the necessary step you need to take and contact your lawyer at the earliest to get advice on the best course of action with regards to your claim and the lien.