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Medical Liens against Your Claim

canstockphoto36895008Many car accident victims need expensive health care. Currently, just one night in a hospital is usually much more than Florida PIP and MedPay coverage. It can take months or even years to negotiate a settlement or obtain a jury verdict. During the time between the accident and payment of your damages, you need medical attention. You may need surgeries. Most victims need to see a general physician. Many car accident victims need to see specialists such as an orthopedist or pain management doctor. X-Rays, CT scans, and MRIs cost a lot of money. Some patients treat long-term with physical therapists, chiropractors, and other health care providers. Medical liens against your claim can help make sure you get the care you need.

Many patients do have insurance they can use to pay these bills. Common examples include private insurance, Medicare, and. Medicaid. Affordable Care Act insurance and HMO coverage also pay for health services.. If you do have insurance, the insurance company will usually pay your medical bills. The defendant’s liability insurance normally pays your medical bills, over the PIP and MedPay limits. If there is a jury verdict, the defendant’s liability insurance pays damages including medical bills. If your UM/UIM insurance company pays damages, that also covers your medical bills.

When your health insurance company pays your accident claim medical costs, they expect reimbursement if your case succeeds. Typically, you pay your insurance company first on case completion. Then the damage proceeds pay for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and outstanding bills.

How medical liens against your claim arise

Insurance companies that paid your medical bills can file a medical lien against your claim. Doctors, hospitals, and other health professionals that teat you can file a medical lien against your claim. They do this if insurance doesn’t pay for their service. Medical liens against your claim, also called settlement liens, are essentially court orders. The court order requires that you pay the service provider or your health  insurer first – when your case settles or there’s a verdict. Medical liens arise through a legal proceeding or agreement to protect the health care provider. The agreement is commonly called a Letter of Protection. Generally, the plaintiff’s lawyers prepares the letter of protection for the plaintiff. Many health providers accept letters of protection for advancing insurance or services.

Sometimes, the amount of the payment is negotiable. Sometimes, for example, your lawyer will claim that the amount of the lien should be offset because they lawyer had to work hard to get the settlement. A skilled Florida car accident attorney understands how to negotiate medical liens.

Some insurance carriers, such as Medicaid and Medicaid, require that the claimant assign the payment for services to that government agency. Your own insurance company, if they pay a UM/UIM claim, will likely want reimbursement if it’s discovered later that there was third-party liability insurance.

Medical liens and letters of protection are complex. Your Florida car accident claim lawyer will explain these documents and legal issues.

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