It is common for a personal injury victim to have to pay others with money from their recovery. This can be upsetting to a victim because they were the person who suffered injuries, and the payments decrease their net recovery from the accident. It is vital, therefore, to know who can (and cannot) assert a lien and seek recovery from your settlement, as well as to try to reduce the amount owed to them as much as possible.
It is also important not to ignore someone with a legal right to repayment, as doing so can come back to haunt a victim and make matters much worse than if the lien had been paid. Properly dealing with any liens on your recovery is, therefore, an important part of your case.
Most liens are intended to prevent an injured person from recovering damages for payments they did not make. For example, if your health insurance company paid for the medical care you obtained as a result of an accident, they may have a right to be reimbursed from your recovery since they paid for the treatment. Medicare and Medicaid have what are referred to as “super liens,” which means that you as a recipient have a duty to contact them and give them the opportunity to assert a lien on your recovery. Failure to do so could affect your right to future benefits.
Similarly, if you did not use or have health insurance, a medical office whose balance is unpaid may have a lien on your recovery to ensure they are paid their balance once your case is disbursed. Likewise, workers’ compensation and disability insurance companies can sometimes assert liens against your case if they pay for some of the damages that you recover, including medical treatment and lost income.
There are also other types of liens that may be asserted against a recovery. For example, tax and child support liens can affect your recovery. If you obtain a cash advance on your case, the finance company will most likely have a lien on your recovery for the amount they advanced you, as well as any processing fees and interest. Unfortunately, these costs can be very high.
Thus, the vital steps are to identify who can and cannot legally assert a lien on your case and to seek reductions from those who can. Oftentimes, they are required to provide such reductions, but not always. Every dollar reduction of a lien increases your recovery. A professional attorney can assist you in this process, as they have years of experience in handling liens.
Simeone & Miller, LLP has helped numerous clients navigate the legal process and sort out any liens against their recovery after their case is won. In fact, our attorneys have won millions of dollars in compensation for our clients and successfully handled liens on these large verdict and settlement amounts. We can help you address any liens against your recovery and seek reductions on your behalf.