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Can Health Insurers File a Lien Against Your Case?

Personal Injury Lawyer

You might be surprised to learn that a third party can have rights to your compensation after a personal injury claim. As you get ready to settle your claim, you have to keep your eye out for those who you might owe a part of your compensation. These people are lienholders. Health insurers happen to be one of the more popular lienholders that you might have to consider.

What Are Legitimate Lienholders?

Insurance companies use subrogation to collect on your compensation. Subrogation is the right of another party to collect against an injury settlement. Those who have a right to collect include:

  • Medical staff and providers

  • Medicare and Medicaid

  • Workers’ compensation insurance

  • Child support agencies

  • Veteran’s administration

  • Health and auto insurance companies

Health insurance companies will commonly seek subrogation. They use subrogation to recover any money that they paid in medical expenses on your behalf.

Why Can Health Insurers Use Subrogation?

Health insurance companies are allowed the rights to collect on injury settlements to keep medical insurance costs down. If an injured person collects from the health insurance company to pay for his or her medical bills and then collects a settlement from the at-fault party, then the person technically double dipped. He or she received double the money that they should. The idea is that an injured person deserves to receive payment for losses but is not owed a profit.

Do You Have to Abide By the Lien?

You cannot ignore a lien! Most health insurers require you to tell them if you are involved in any sort of accident. When you sign up for coverage, you have to agree to the rules that they set down too. If you are in a car accident or any other suspicious accident, the insurance will pay your bills but then investigate the accident to see if you are collecting for injuries or medical bills. If you’re treated for certain injuries then you might end up hearing from your insurance company. It is illegal for you to ignore a lien. You can end up with criminal charges or added penalties.

After you file a personal injury claim, if your insurer already paid for your bills, then the insurer can put a lien on the compensation. When a third party already pays for your medical bills, you cannot collect money twice. This means that while the insurer will pay for your medical bills, they will ask for compensation when you receive yours. If you are filing a personal injury suit, you may want to talk to a Philadelphia, PA personal injury lawyer today.

Thanks to Wieand Law Firm, LLC for their insight into personal injury claims and health insurance issues.


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