Hospitals throughout Indiana save countless lives every day. But saving those lives costs money, and hospitals want to ensure that they are paid for the services they provide.
In many cases, hospitals rely on patients’ health insurance policies to pay for part or all of the bills issued for the treatment provided. When patients are hurt through no fault of their own and are eligible to file personal injury claims, their health insurance providers may file subrogation claims, which means they’re entitled to some of the money their patients receive if they win their claims after paying their hospital bills through their insurance.
Hospitals may do the same thing when they know patients were harmed or hurt because of someone else’s negligence through a process called a medical lien. These liens allow hospitals to continue providing care to patients, especially patients who don’t have health insurance, under the assumption that they will eventually be paid once those patients receive settlements either from the insurance company of the at-fault party directly or in court.
In 2013, the Indiana legislature amended the Indiana Hospital Lien Statute, some of which favor personal injury and car accident victims.
The changes to the Hospital Lien Statute took effect on July 1, 2013.
First, it’s important to find out if you’ve had a lien placed on you by the hospital that treated you. Typically, you’ll receive notification in the mail shortly after your discharge. If you received a lien, it’s important to tell your lawyer, especially in the early stages of your claim.
If you don’t pay your lien, the hospital will make every effort to collect it from you, just as it would a normal bill. However, as noted above in the law change effective July 1, 2013, the hospital won’t be able to pursue any payments from you until after your injury claim settles. That means that you won’t have to worry about any collection attempts while your settlement is in process. In addition, that delay can give you time to re-negotiate your bills.
Medical bills aren’t always fair or accurate, and that means you may end up having a lien placed on you that’s far too expensive for the treatments you received or the settlement you may win. Our lawyers can review your medical lien and your medical bills to determine if they’re accurate and fair, and we can negotiate them alongside your settlement from the insurance company.
Hospital liens are a common part of the personal injury process, but many victims are unaware of them or are caught by surprise when they receive notification of one.
At Wagner Reese, our lawyers have successfully helped many personal injury victims throughout Indiana who have been subject to hospital liens, and we’re up to date on all the laws concerning them. Between the insurance company and the hospital both wanting outcomes that may not be in your best interest financially, it’s extremely important that you contact a lawyer right away after your injury. We’ll begin protecting your rights and building a strong claim for you the day you call. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.