In some situations, a hospital or medical provider does not or cannot bill a health insurance provider for healthcare given to an accident victim. In such a case, a medical lien will likely be filed instead, which allows the healthcare provider to take a relative portion of any third-party liability settlement, if one such award eventually exists. The intricacies of medical liens can be confusing to accident victims and their legal representatives alike.
In order to help more people and legal professionals understand medical liens, Attorney Scott Simon and Attorney Robert Daley of Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. recently wrote an article titled Navigating Liens in Third-Party Liability Actions in Personal Injury Cases. The Legal Intelligencer picked up their article and shared it in its August 24th, 2018 publication, which you can view by clicking here. (Login information or subscription may be required.)
Within the article, Attorneys Daley and Simon discussed how defending attorneys in personal injury actions are more focused than ever when it comes to investigating medical liens. It is part of their role to make sure all medical liens are fulfilled before the entirety of settlement funds are given to a successful plaintiff. On the other hand, a plaintiff attorney who hastily accepts a lien and pays it off without double-checking rates and procurement amounts run the risk of inadvertently paying too much to the lien holders. To confidently move the process forward, an attorney will need to conduct a thorough lien investigation, which can get tangled up in the particular rules and expectations of individual liens and lien holders.
Due Diligence is Key
As much trouble as it might be to investigate medical liens, Attorneys Smith and Daley urge within their article for all plaintiff attorneys to do so. To maximize a client’s claim value and compensation, liens have to be handled correctly and paid in only the amount owed, nothing more.
To better investigate a client’s medical liens, a personal injury lawyer should:
- Research all health insurance plans accessed for injury treatments in the accident.
- Get copies of billing statements sent to injured parties.
- Correlate all reported injuries to the accident to establish cause.
- Notify all insurance companies of the pending injury claim.
It is also crucial to begin lien investigations sooner than later, as the attorneys explain. Waiting to investigate liens until a settlement is being negotiated could trigger delays, which will be demoralizing to a client who thought they were about to receive financial compensation at long last. Of course, plaintiff attorneys should also follow similar procedures and best practices for liens created in relation to coverage provided by Medicare or Medicaid. In such cases, extra precautions and planning will definitely not hurt, either.
Are you looking for experienced and meticulous legal representation for your personal injury claim in Pennsylvania? Our Pittsburgh injury attorneys from Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. are here to help. With our extensive insight and knowledgeability, you can be confident that we can manage your case to its fullest potential, no matter the complexities, such as medical liens. To get a free consultation with our law firm, contact us by dialing (844) 383-0565 today.