A hospital lien is a legal claim stating that you owe money to the hospital. When a lien is placed on a lawsuit, that means the hospital is claiming the right to directly receive a portion of the damages awarded in the lawsuit.
Getting a lien this way means not having to worry about the medical bills until the lawsuit has been resolved, but it may mean less financial reward at the end of the process. The hospital is demanding to be the first to be paid when the case ends, but you’re the one who will also have to pay your lawyer and handle all of your other expenses.
Managing Medical Expenses
If you’ve been seriously injured and you decided to file a lawsuit for compensation, that means your injuries are significant and the suffering and cost had a powerful impact on your life. You need the reward money from the lawsuit to recover and support your family as you move forward. It’s not just for the medical bills.
At the same time, medical bills after an accident can be one of the most stressful parts of pursuing a personal injury claim. When the case is resolved, the other party should be responsible for paying all of your expenses. Until the case is over, however, you still have to pay it.
Depending on how well the timeframes of your medical treatments and the legal process match up, this may or may not create significant problems for you. You will need to either find a way to pay the hospital or satisfy the hospital somehow that the money will be coming eventually. A lien attached to your lawsuit is one way to do that, but it’s not ideal for you.
If you have health insurance, then ideally that will be helping to cover a significant part of your expenses. You should not need a lien if you have insurance, but sometimes hospitals will try to skip the insurance and get involved with your lawsuit instead.
A lien is more profitable to the hospital than working with insurance first. They have to wait longer for some of the compensation, but they will receive more money overall. That’s because insurance companies negotiate with hospitals for lower prices than an individual pays on their own. If they don’t go through insurance, your price will be higher.
Getting Professional Help from a Lawyer
You’re putting so much time and effort into your legal claim and you don’t want to be cheated out of any of your reward. It’s essential to advocate for yourself and seek experienced legal counsel. You don’t have to be alone. A good lawyer will advocate on your behalf as well.
Find a lawyer you know you can trust and discuss your options for dealing with medical costs while you wait to resolve your case. They’ll work with you to give you the most flexibility and stop the hospital from taking advantage of you. Stay strong and find others that can support you.