Health Care Provider Claims on Personal Injury Settlement
February 5, 2021
If you or someone you love has sustained an injury caused by the actions of another individual, then you will likely be able to recover compensation through a settlement or a jury verdict. However, injury victims cannot wait until they receive settlement or award money to pay for their medical bills. Those who have sustained harm need immediate treatment, and this costs money. Here, we want to talk about how health care providers and even health insurance carriers may be able to obtain a portion of any settlement or jury verdict award that an injury victim receives.
How Can Health Care Providers get Settlement Money?
In California, a medical lien will authorize the payment of medical bills directly to a health care provider from a settlement or jury verdict awarded to the injury victim. While this may seem like a bad deal for the victim, the reality is that this type of arrangement helps ensure that the injury victim receives the treatment that they need.
Health care providers can typically provide a medical lien in California if the person who has sustained an injury:
- Does not have a private health insurance plan, Medi-Cal benefits, Medicare, or another type of no-fault insurance
- Is unable to pay their deductible or co-pays under their insurance policy
- Is otherwise unable to pay for the medical care they need while waiting for the at-fault party to pay.
It is important to point out that not all medical professionals are willing to provide their services on a medical lien basis because not every personal injury case is successful. In these situations, the medical provider is essentially providing their services on credit with no guarantee of a payback.
However, if a medical lien is granted, and the provider does render the necessary medical care to the injury victim, they will be entitled to repayment of the services that they provided if there is an eventual settlement or jury verdict awarded to the victim.
Can Health Insurance Carriers Claim a Settlement?
The medical lien process is slightly different than the process of health insurance carriers receiving any money that they paid out while a person was awaiting a settlement or jury verdict. If a health insurance carrier pays for treatment before a settlement or jury verdict has been awarded, they can typically go through the process of subrogation if the injury victim does receive compensation from the at-fault party.
Subrogation refers to a reimbursement of claims from the settlement or jury verdict amount to the insurance carrier for any amount of money that they already paid to treat the injuries.
Work With an Attorney
If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the actions of another individual, business, or entity, you need to work with a skilled personal injury attorney in California as soon as possible. An attorney will understand exactly how medical liens work, and they will be able to explain subrogation to you as well. It is crucial that you have an advocate by your side who will ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your claim and also ensure that only the appropriate parties are paid back after you receive the money that you need.