How do Medical Liens Work?
More often than not, we do our best to work with medical professionals that will work on a lien. Every auto accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys knows that paying medical bills is the most common concern our clients have. That is why we want to make sure you know just how medical liens work. Our auto accident attorney is going to go over what liens are, who takes liens. and how they are used properly to help pay for your medical treatment. If you have been injured in an accident and to find adequate medical treatment, contact us to discuss your case. Consultations are free.
Auto Accident Attorney | What is a Medical Lien?
First thing’s first, we want to discuss what a medical lien is. a medical lien is something that your auto accident lawyer and your doctor come to agree on when it comes to your treatment. Put simply, when it comes to paying your medical bills, it will be taken out of the official settlement. Medical professionals who treat you are entitled to a portion of the damages you receive. This is in order to pay for services they provided.
Liens are usually held against patients who are unable to afford medical treatment. for Silverthorne Attorneys, about 90% of the medical professional we work with and refer our clients to work on liens. We do this for a reason. We want to make sure that you do not have to worry about how you are going to pay for your medical treatment. It will all be taken care of. Though lien repayments to doctors are contingent on winning your case, we will have you know that Silverthorne Attorneys has a 100% win rate. Meaning, we have been able to successfully settle all of our cases.
Common Personal Injury Liens
We want to touch on some of the common liens in personal injury and auto accident cases. Below is a list of a couple:
Medical/Healthcare Provider Liens
The most common liens we see and work with are those dealing with medical professionals. When you work with an auto accident attorney at Silverthorne Attorneys, we do our best to set you up with doctors who will accept liens. This is what is called a prior arrangement. Meaning, as your accident lawyers, we have an arrangement with those who are treating you to pay funds back for services rendered once their is a final settlement acceptance. as stated previously, the doctors will be paid a percentage from the settlement first, then your auto accident attorney, then you.
Though these terms can be a bit ambiguous, we do our best to make sure that not only are you getting the care you need, but that your bills are taken care of.
Medicare & Medicaid
These are two completely different beasts on their own – a part from paying out other medical professionals. Under medicaid, you are required to assign your rights to payments for medical care from a third party over to the state of California. the reason being, even if Medicaid does not try to pursue a claim, the state of California has the power to do so. for instance, in any personal injury case where Medicaid has paid for medical bills, California is statutorily required to impose a lien on any settlement. This is not unlike what your doctor take from the settlement. However, it is mandated that the state be paid back immediately.
In the same way, the federal government also has statutory liens for Medicare patients. Under the Medicare Secondary Payor Act (MSP),
“Medicare should not pay medical bills when payments are made or expected to be made under workman’s compensation or under insurance plans or policies. Where there is a conditional payment, the United States can bring an action against the primary plan responsible for payment of expenses.”
This can be a tough route. and though the wording seems harsh at times, you want to make sure that your attorney is doing what is best for you. It may not always be the best course of action to have a medical lien when your insurance is Medicaid or Medicare.
Auto Accident Lawyer | Negotiating Liens
It is not something we do often, however, there are certain occasions when we will negotiate down your liens with medical professionals. This is done in the following manner:
We create a “fund doctrine.” This is essentially for the benefit of the third party (medical provider) for reimbursement from the fund in the form of your auto accident attorney’s fees.
Sometimes medical professionals will not budge on lien reductions or negotiations. Most of the time, we do like to reduce their lien. We pride ourselves on getting our clients the best settlement possible so no one has to reduce any fees.
If you need more information, contact our office to speak with one of our auto accident attorneys. Consultations are free. and we will be more than happy to discuss any questions you have.