Sometimes you aren’t the only person who has rights to the money that will be awarded during a personal injury claim. Other entities might have a claim too.
Here’s what you need to know.
Can health insurance providers put a lien on my New York personal injury case?
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Private health insurers may pay for a portion of your medical expenses as you seek to recover from your accident or injury. If they do, they aren’t entitled to reimbursement and can’t get a lien on your case.
Medicaid or Medicare can get reimbursed, as can self-funded ERISA health plans.
Can car insurance providers put a lien on my New York personal injury case?
Yes. We’re in a no-fault system. If your own insurance company pays you and you later sue because your New York injury case met the lawsuit threshold, then it is possible for your insurance company to seek reimbursement against your personal injury settlement.
Can medical providers put a lien on my New York personal injury case?
Yes. Hospitals are highly likely to seek a lien for any unpaid medical expenses in a personal injury case.
This can be a good thing. If the hospital has sent you to collections, for example, you can refer the collection agency to your attorney. Your attorney will then grant them a letter affirming they have a lien. They stop calling you, and you’re no longer at risk of being sued over the debt.
Nevertheless, each of these liens should be investigated. There are times when some hospitals don’t even attempt to submit bills to insurance first, hoping to take personal injury money instead. For one thing, when they file the lien they do so for the full retail price of medical care, rather than the negotiated lower rates that they get when they bill insurance.
Be careful, because some hospitals try to slip in a waiver that says you don’t want your health plan billed for care.
Can a personal injury attorney block liens?
Sometimes. It depends on who is seeking the lien and why they are seeking it. Some entities have their rights to pursue a lien enshrined in law. Others are simply taking their best shot in an attempt to make some money off of your case. The latter sort of lien may be challenged in court.
In addition, there is often some room for negotiation with those who are seeking liens against your personal injury settlement.
You should never ignore a lien, and you should work closely with your personal injury attorney to discover any liens that might have been made against your personal injury case without your knowledge.