What is a lien in a Pennsylvania personal injury case?

typing on computer with stethoscope on table

When you are the victim of an injury caused by a negligent party, understanding how to navigate this complicated process is essential. Many victims do not consider if a lien will be placed against their settlement. As these are often associated with mortgages, you may wonder what this entails. If you’re hurt in an accident and want to pursue justice, it’s essential to enlist the assistance of personal injury attorneys to help you through these complex legal matters. Keep reading to learn more about what it means if there is a lien placed against your settlement.

What is a lien?

A lien is a judgment that allows a third party to take a portion of or the entirety of your settlement. In personal injury cases, a lien can be placed against you by several parties. This includes:

  • Healthcare providers and facilities
  • Private insurance companies
  • Government benefit providers, like Medicare
  • Workers’ compensation providers

What purpose does it serve in a personal injury case?

Generally, if you are involved in an accident, the medical bills you incur can be astronomical. Many are unable to cover the cost before receiving compensation from a negligent party.

Essentially, a lien is placed to ensure you do not receive the same benefit twice. For example, if your insurance company pays for your medical bills, they could place a lien on your settlement. As such, some or all economic damages you receive from your personal injury claim would be paid to the insurance company as reimbursement. However, if your insurance doesn’t cover your medical bills, a hospital will place a lien against your settlement. This is so you can still receive the care you need while ensuring the healthcare providers will receive compensation for the treatment provided.

Can a lien be unfair or invalid?

There are a few instances in which you may think that your liens are too high. As such, working with an attorney may be able to help lower the payments. Your attorney will work with the insurance provider or healthcare facility to try and negotiate a reduced amount.

In some cases, you may believe that the lien is completely invalid. This can be because it was not filed on time or properly addressed to you. As such, it may be deemed invalid. If this is the case, you’ll need to present it to a judge who will offer the final decision on whether or not it should be upheld.

If you have a medical lien placed against you, it’s essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Not only will you need representation to help you receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries you’ve sustained against a negligent party, but an attorney can also help ensure the lien against you is fair and valid. At Friedman Schuman, we understand that as the victim of an accident, you have enough to worry about. We will work tirelessly to help you navigate this confusing process so you can focus on healing. Contact us today to learn more.

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