Before you can receive your personal injury settlement, you may be required to pay off certain claim against the proceeds. This can include medical liens that are filed by medical service providers.
How Medical Liens Are Filed
A doctor, nurse, hospital, or other medical service providers can claim a medical lien under North Carolina law. This lien gives them the right to compensation for medical services provided to you after your accident. If you receive a personal injury settlement or award, this lien gives them the right to payment out of those proceeds.
When you receive a settlement, your personal injury attorney is generally required to pay off any valid medical liens. However, if the medical service provider failed to follow the correct legal procedures to perfect their lien interest, you may not need to pay them out of your settlement proceeds.
The medical services provider must comply with your attorney’s requests for medical records and medical bills at no charge in order to preserve their lien interest. If they don’t comply with these requests or charge for these documents, they may lose their lien interest in your potential personal injury settlement.
The Lien’s Value
The lien (if it is properly perfected) will be worth the value of the drugs, medical supplies, ambulance fees, and other medical services that were provided by you and related to your injuries. However, the lien interest is limited to a maximum of 50% of your recovery after your attorney’s fees have been deducted.
This limitation does not eliminate your responsibility for the cost of any additional medical services you received. It just means that the service provider will have to use other methods to attempt to collect these amounts from you.
In addition to medical liens, there may be other types of liens against your personal injury settlement. Your attorney may also receive compensation for their services with a portion of your settlement if you agreed to a contingency fee arrangement.
It’s important to be aware of any lien or other claims against your personal injury settlement. The amount of your settlement you have a right to legally receive will likely end up being less than the total amount of the settlement.
Don’t miss out on your chance to seek compensation for serious injuries or the death of a loved one. Call King Law at 888-748-KING (5464) to request a consultation with a North Carolina personal injury attorney.