Jones & Swanson

Why Hospitals File Liens in Personal Injury Cases

As Marietta personal injury attorneys, we represent injured victims of many types of accidents, including auto wrecks, slip and falls, automobile defects, product recalls, and wrongful deaths. When a person is injured due to the negligence of another person in any of these instances, they may be entitled to compensation. Nearly all Georgians that are involved in one of these personal injury claims were seriously injured and required medical treatment at some point. As we all know, medical bills can be expensive and are almost always unexpected. Those victims with quality medical insurance are often in better places than those without because hospitals bill them much less than those without insurance. Unfortunately, many Georgians do not have adequate medical insurance coverage for the treatment necessary after a serious auto accident or other personal injury.

In the event that a victim does not have health insurance, it is likely that they will receive a Notice of Intent to File a Hospital Lien. This will come in the form of a mailed letter and is typically from an attorney’s office that represents the facility where treatment was received. Most people are immediately concerned upon receipt of this letter, but it is simply standard procedure for most medical facilities. These facilities use this as a way to ensure they are paid upon settlement of the victim’s Marietta injury claim. This notice simply has to be filed 15 days prior to the medical facility filing a lien. In laymen’s terms, a medical lien means someone paid money on the victim’s behalf for treatment and are ensuring that they are paid back when that victim’s personal injury claim is settled. The lien document informs others that the medical facility should be reimbursed from the settlement or verdict. This lien doesn’t affect the victim’s credit and cannot be used as evidence of failure to pay a debt. The only way that the victim can be sued by the medical provider is if they ignore the lien after being funded from their settlement.

Hospital liens are just one more reason for victims of Atlanta auto accidents, slip and falls, auto defects, and other incidents to consult with an experienced injury law firm. Many personal injury law firms are able to negotiate the repayment of liens, possibly reducing the amount to be paid by victims from their settlements or verdicts. When contacting an injury attorney, inform them immediately of the lien notification. At Jones & Swanson, we then verify that the medical care facility followed proper protocol when filing the lien. If these proper protocols were not followed, it provides opportunity to argue for the lien amount to be reduced. Looking for an attorney for personal injury in Marietta? The attorneys at our office have over 40 years of combined experience representing victims that underwent significant medical treatment. We have relationships with medical providers throughout metro-Atlanta and understand the details of hospital liens. For more information about Georgia liens and how they may affect your Marietta personal injury claim, contact us today at (770) 427-5498 or via our online contact form.

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