How will a Hospital Lien Imact My Injury Compensation?
Knowledgeable accident attorneys and injury lawyers know that you can be put in the hospital if you have a motorcycle accident, a highway accident with a semi tractor-trailer, a large truck accident, a wreck with a drunk driver, a truck crash , a construction accident , a fall, or even a battery. Aggressive accident lawyers and injury attorneys also know that these types of accidents can cause all sorts of serious injuries including broken bones, back injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries causing paralysis including paraplegia and quadriplegia, blindness, burns, and amputations. When these things occur you will be taken to the hospital for treatment. When the hospital finds out the injuries were caused by a traffic accident they will send a message to their legal department to begin the process of filing a hospital lien. A hospital lien is usually filed when the injured person does not have health insurance. The hospital lien can also be filed even if the person does have insurance. The hospital lien is usually filed when the hospital is not fully paid for its services.
So what is a hospital lien, and why are you getting one? The hospital lien is like any other lien, it gives the hospital a legal right to collect the remaining balance of their bill from any compensation you receive as a result of the injuries you have from the accident. In order for the hospital lien to be enforceable certain things must be done in a timely fashion. The first thing you should know is that the hospital lien is authorized by statute. The Indiana Statute is I.C. 32-33-4-1 and the related statutes which follow this first statute.
To be a valid lien, the hospital must follow the requirements of the Hospital lien statutes. Some of those requirements include: The lien must be filed in the recorder’s office of the county where the hospital is located within 180 days after you are released from the hospital, the lien must have your proper name, your proper address, the name and address of the hospital, the dates of service and more. If the hospital does not comply with the statutes, their lien is not enforceable. This does not mean that you are not responsible for the bill. It only means that the hospital does not have a lien against your settlement.
One of the protections built into the hospital lien statutes is that if the lien exceeds the amount of insurance to compensate you for your injuries, you as the patient are guaranteed 20% of the amount of the settlement. In other words, the hospital lien cannot take all your compensation.
At Young and Young we have more than 55 years of experience helping injured Hoosiers. Part of what we do is to help resolve these hospital liens. If you are seriously injured, please give Young and Young a call. We know when we can help.