Why Hospitals File Liens in Personal Injury Cases

If you are involved in an accident and suffer injuries that require medical care, how will your medical bills be paid? For most North Carolinians who have health insurance, there is an assumption that the hospital will submit your bills to your insurance company, and you will only have to pay the amount that is not covered by your insurance plan. However, this is not always what happens.

In fact, in certain cases where a person has a significant medical bill from an accident, a hospital lien may be filed against any damages you recover in a personal injury civil action.  Although the law does allow for liens in certain circumstances, North Carolina lien law is complicated. So it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Charlotte to discuss whether it is possible to reduce the lien or, in some cases, eliminate it altogether.

What Is a Hospital Lien?

In order to understand how a hospital lien can impact your personal injury case, it is important to know what a “lien” is. Cornell University Legal Information Institute (LII) defines a lien as “a security interest or legal right acquired in one’s property by a creditor. A lien generally stays in effect until the underlying obligation to the creditor is satisfied.”

In basic terms, if you owe someone money (a creditor) and you do not repay it, that creditor can put a lien against you (or against your personal injury case, for example). A hospital lien may be used in cases where an injured person owes the hospital money, and because the hospital has not been paid, it files a lien.

Learning More About Hospital Liens

Under North Carolina law, entities such as hospitals can file liens upon a person’s recovery in a personal injury settlement or lawsuit in order to be repaid for “sums due for medical attention.” The law specifically states that the lien can be “in favor of any person, corporation, State entity, municipal corporation, or county” to whom the plaintiff owes money for medical bills.

Hospital liens can be filed to cover bills for a wide range of services, including:

  • Ambulance services
  • Physician services
  • Nurse services
  • Dental services
  • Hospital attention
  • Hospital services
  • Drugs or medication
  • Medical supplies

Instead of submitting your hospital bills to your insurer, a health care provider can file a lien against any damages or settlement you might secure in a personal injury claim. In other words, the lien can significantly reduce your compensation from any personal injury claim.

When Can a Hospital File a Lien?

There are situations in which a hospital can put a lien on a personal injury claimant’s case, including instances such as:

  • You suffered an injury and required medical care but did not have insurance.
  • You suffered an injury and required medical care, but your insurance company did not pay a portion of the bill, and you have not paid the remaining amount.
  • The hospital elects not to file with your health insurance company and, instead, seeks payment out of your personal injury settlement or verdict.

To be clear, when a hospital files a lien directly on the personal injury claimant’s case — even when the claimant has valid insurance — that hospital may be seeking the full retail cost of the hospital bill to be paid out of the plaintiff’s settlement, rather than the amount that the insurance company would have paid.

Seek Help from an Experienced North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are facing a hospital lien, you may still be wondering why the hospital did not bill your insurance company for the payment owed. You need to speak with a dedicated North Carolina personal injury lawyer to protect your rights.

Contact a personal injury lawyer at Warren & Kallianos PLLC, today to learn more about how we can assist you with hospital liens in personal injury cases. Depending upon the specific facts of your case, we may be able to get the amount of the lien reduced, or we may be able to demonstrate that the lien is invalid. Call or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation now.

By |October 19th, 2016|Personal Injury Claims|Comments Off on Why Hospitals File Liens in Personal Injury Cases

Free Consultation

Testimonials

He’s honest and dedicated to his clients

"Chris Kallianos was my lawyer for over a year after a bad car accident. He’s honest and dedicated to his clients, and I would recommend him to anyone that needs a lawyer in the future."

Client

Warren & Kallianos
2018-10-07T23:31:05+00:00

Client

"Chris Kallianos was my lawyer for over a year after a bad car accident. He’s honest and dedicated to his clients, and I would recommend him to anyone that needs a lawyer in the future."

Committed Personal Injury Attorneys

"Having worked with both Chris and Jeff, as well as their office staff, I can say with confidence that they are the most sincere, committed personal injury attorneys I have ever met. They are passionate about making sure their clients get a fair settlement, and are sympathetic to the disruption and even trauma that the whole process can create. It helps that they are a small team, and everyone knows the clients and their situations."

Client

Warren & Kallianos
5.0
2018-09-28T23:52:45+00:00

Client

"Having worked with both Chris and Jeff, as well as their office staff, I can say with confidence that they are the most sincere, committed personal injury attorneys I have ever met. They are passionate about making sure their clients get a fair settlement, and are sympathetic to the disruption and even trauma that the whole process can create. It helps that they are a small team, and everyone knows the clients and their situations."

Not sure how we would have managed without this Law Firm

"Not sure how we would have managed without this Law Firm. They have been extremely compassionate about my husbands injury causing disability – which has been a life changing event for our family. They are always available to talk with us no matter when we call. They have kept us up to date regarding the case, which has kept us from worrying. I would recommend this Law Firm to anyone who needs legal help."

Client

Warren & Kallianos
5.0
2018-10-07T23:29:03+00:00

Client

"Not sure how we would have managed without this Law Firm. They have been extremely compassionate about my husbands injury causing disability – which has been a life changing event for our family. They are always available to talk with us no matter when we call. They have kept us up to date regarding the case, which has kept us from worrying. I would recommend this Law Firm to anyone who needs legal help."

I would highly recommend Mr. Kallianos and his staff

"Chris Kallianos has been such a blessing to our family during this trying time! He has done an excellent job in making sure we are informed of what is going on with our case. I would highly recommend Mr. Kallianos and his staff if you have a personal injury you are dealing with. We truly appreciate all of your hard work! Best lawyer around!"

Client

Warren & Kallianos
5.0
2018-10-07T23:25:16+00:00

Client

"Chris Kallianos has been such a blessing to our family during this trying time! He has done an excellent job in making sure we are informed of what is going on with our case. I would highly recommend Mr. Kallianos and his staff if you have a personal injury you are dealing with. We truly appreciate all of your hard work! Best lawyer around!"

I recommend them to everyone.

"Great people to help me with my case, Great Lawyer and Paralegals. they always answered the phone, always had a response for my question. I recommend them to everyone. they also have someone that speaks Spanish (for my parents) I am thankful for everything and time that they give me. thank you so much, God bless."

Client

Warren & Kallianos
5.0
2018-10-07T23:27:01+00:00

Client

"Great people to help me with my case, Great Lawyer and Paralegals. they always answered the phone, always had a response for my question. I recommend them to everyone. they also have someone that speaks Spanish (for my parents) I am thankful for everything and time that they give me. thank you so much, God bless."

I would definitely recommend them to any and every one!

"We were referred to Jeff Warren from another attorney and had a great experience with my son’s medical injury case/settlement, I have always been hesitant about personal injury lawsuit’s and attorneys but Jeff and his practice made the whole process easy and stress free from the beginning to the end. I would definitely recommend them to any and every one!!! We are very grateful to Jeff and his staff for all their patience and knowledge."

Client

Warren & Kallianos
5.0
2018-10-07T23:22:13+00:00

Client

"We were referred to Jeff Warren from another attorney and had a great experience with my son’s medical injury case/settlement, I have always been hesitant about personal injury lawsuit’s and attorneys but Jeff and his practice made the whole process easy and stress free from the beginning to the end. I would definitely recommend them to any and every one!!! We are very grateful to Jeff and his staff for all their patience and knowledge."
5
5
Text Us704-275-5593