Negotiating with an insurance company to pay for injuries and damages suffered in an accident is only part of your case. The final step is receiving the compensation you are owed. Receiving your compensation could be hindered by a lien. If you have been notified that a lien has been filed against your settlement, here is what you need to know.
Who Has Filed a Lien?
If your health care provider filed a claim with your insurer for treating your injuries from the accident, there is a good chance the lien is from your insurer. Your insurer wants to be reimbursed for any payments that were made on your medical bills. Legally, the insurer is entitled to receive the reimbursement since you received a settlement to pay for the treatment. The lien is filed to ensure that you pay back the insurer when you are paid.
What Can You Do About the Lien?
In most instances, the only option you have to resolve a lien is to back the insurer back. Depending on the state in which you live, there is a possibility that the amount you owe the insurer can be reduced by a certain percentage. In other states, you are liable for all of the owed amount.
Some insurers are willing to negotiate the amount that is owed even if the state laws do not require them to. Your attorney can handle the negotiations for you.
If your insurer is Medicare or Medicaid, you will be responsible for the entire amount. Your attorney cannot legally disburse your settlement to you until Medicare is fully repaid. If you fail to repay Medicare or Medicaid, you could face serious consequences.
If you do not agree with the amount that your insurer claims you owe, you can request a review of your expenses. It is best to ask for the review in writing so that you have proof that the request was made.
What Happens If You Do Not Pay?
In the event that you do not pay back your insurer, you could be sued. You could also be putting your chances of receiving health insurance in the future in jeopardy. If you are receiving Medicare or Medicaid and choose not to pay, you could even face criminal charges.
There is also the possibility that interest and fees could be added to the amount that you owe Medicare or Medicaid. If you plan to dispute the amount that is owed and are waiting for a review, it could be in your best interests to pay it and receive a reimbursement later.
Your personal injury lawyer can help you determine how you should handle a lien from your health insurer.