What Can I Do About a Lien on My Minnesota Personal Injury Settlement?

lien definitionMany injury victims are unsure about what to expect during the legal process. For instance, you may not realize that a hospital or health insurer can place a lien on your injury claim.

This post provides a comprehensive overview of liens on personal injury settlements, explaining where liens come from, how they can be managed and the benefits of hiring an experienced lawyer to manage the situation.

TSR Injury Law’s Minneapolis personal injury lawyers have been helping the injured obtain favorable compensation for decades. We manage every aspect of the legal process on behalf of our clients. You are already dealing with a serious injury; you do not need the added stress of trying to handle the legal process.

Call today to schedule a free consultation. Zero upfront fees or legal obligations. Phone: (612) TSR-TIME.

What Is a Lien?

A lien is a legal hold or claim on another party’s property or assets, which may include a personal injury settlement. An individual or entity places a lien on another’s property to seek repayment of a debt, obligation or services provided, such as health care.

Liens are often used by medical providers and health insurance companies to seek reimbursement for costs they incurred for an injured individual who has filed an injury claim. The entity that places a lien claims entitlement to a portion of any settlement the injured individual receives. This is known as subrogation.

Liens aim to prevent injured victims from receiving a double recovery. For example, if a health insurance company covered your medical care up front and you later received compensation for those same medical expenses in your settlement.

In the context of personal injury cases, liens ensure that medical providers, insurance companies, or governmental entities get reimbursed for costs they incurred on behalf of the injured individual from the settlement or judgment awarded. Liens can be placed by health insurers, medical professionals, Medicare or Medicaid and child support agencies, among others.

Who Could Place a Lien on Your Personal Injury Settlement?

Liens are often placed on personal injury settlements to obtain reimbursement for the cost of medical care. Medical liens are often placed on settlements by the following entities:

  • Health insurance providers: In a liability claim against another party, you do not receive compensation for medical care and other damages until the end of the legal process. You may need to use your health insurance to help pay medical expenses for care related to your crash. In this situation, the health insurer may have the right to place a lien on your settlement.
  • Medical providers: Health insurance often does not cover the full cost of care. Patients may owe the difference between what the health insurance company covered and what the hospital or doctor’s office charged. Hospitals and doctors may place liens on your settlement to recover the amount you owe. These entities often reach agreements with the victim’s lawyer to delay collection of your medical bills. That way you can continue to get treatment while your lawyer pursues compensation.
  • Medicare or Medicaid: Government health insurance programs also have the right to seek reimbursement for the payments they make on your behalf.

If a plaintiff has outstanding child support payments, liens can be used to collect this debt as well out of a settlement.

Why Your Lawyer Should Verify a Lien

Injured victims should never automatically assume a lien is legitimate. You should review liens with your lawyer to make sure they are valid and reflect the amount you owe and no more. You do not want to overpay, as that reduces the amount of money you receive from your settlement.

What Is a Letter of Protection?

A letter of protection is an agreement between the victim of a crash and a medical provider. The agreement ensures you can continue to receive treatment without making immediate payments, with the understanding that expenses will be covered from your settlement.

A letter of protection can be a vital tool for many injured victims. Without it, victims might not be able to continue to get treatment because they would be unable to pay for it. Working out a payment plan with the hospital might not be an option because the victim may be unable to afford monthly payments.

How Do I Get Rid of a Lien on My Settlement?

Liens are paid off before injured victims receive their settlement. It is important to note that your lawyer can negotiate with lienholders. He or she may be able to negotiate down the amount of the lien, or eliminate it altogether, allowing you to receive more compensation from your settlement.

This is one of many advantages of hiring an experienced lawyer to manage your case. Like you, our goal is to help you recover as much compensation as possible. Negotiating liens and working out agreements with medical providers to delay collection of bills ensures you get the treatment you need without needing to figure out how to pay for it up front.

What Happens to the Lien if a Claim Goes to Court?

If the insurance company denies your claim or does not offer the compensation you need, your lawyer may take the case to court. The lien still applies to any compensation you receive, including compensation from a jury verdict or settlement that is reached during the lawsuit.

Call TSR Injury Law Today to Discuss Legal Options

At TSR Injury Law, our goal is to secure full compensation for your injuries and damages. Our firm wants you to be able to get all the medical treatment you need to make the best recovery possible. We want you to be compensated for the many other effects of your injuries, such as lost wages and pain and suffering.

We do not want you to be concerned about the cost of legal assistance. Our firm operates on contingency, which means there are no upfront costs. We do not get paid unless we win your case and secure compensation.

Give us a call to learn more about how we can assist you. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

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