Liens & Personal Injury Settlements

Attorneys handling personal injury cases may find themselves dealing with claims for reimbursement and unpaid medical providers upon the verdict of a case. Plaintiffs may not understand why they’re obligated to pay these entities nor do they understand the intricacies of negotiating a personal injury lien. As their attorney, you must stay two steps ahead to ensure your client meets their obligation to satisfy their debts.

Types of Liens

The following entities may place a lien against your client’s claim:

Medicaid, Medicare, and Veteran’s Administration: These governmental agencies and programs are known as “super liens” and must take priority over all other parties.

Health Care Providers: Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will provide advanced treatment services with a signed Letter of Protection (LOP) and/or by exercising their lien rights.

Workers’ Compensation: If the claimant’s injury was caused by a third-party other than the claimant’s employer, this would entitle the claimant to workers’ compensation and personal injury damages, but the third party can also seek reimbursement by placing a lien against the the claimant’s settlement.

Health and Auto Insurance: Both private health and auto insurance companies can place a lien on your client’s personal injury settlement if insurance paid some or all of your client’s bills or payouts prior to the claim settlement.

Are You Prepared to Deal With Liens?

If your client received health care services as a result of a personal injury, then there’s a good chance a lien or several liens against their settlement proceeds exists. As their attorney, you’re required to ensure that all statutory lien holders are paid. If not, both you and your client can be targeted for lawsuit by the lien holders.

How to Resolve a Client’s Lien Issues

Negotiating a personal injury lien is often more complicated than settling the claim itself, plus attorneys don’t typically receive additional compensation to settle these liens. You may be tempted to disburse the settlement funds to your clients to allow them to satisfy their own liens and debts. However, it’s critical that you protect your clients and ensure their liens are handled as quickly and efficiently as possible on their behalf.

You could invest extra hours and months without compensation into resolving these claims yourself, but withholding your client’s settlement proceeds until all liens are resolved is time-consuming and frustrating to the client. You could also outsource this process to Synergy Settlement Solutions. We have extensive experience expediting the lien process on the behalf of attorneys and their clients. Let us resolve the lien issue for you so you can get back to the cases that require your immediate attention.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please submit our contact request form or call (877) 242-0022.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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Newsome Law Firm, Past President of Florida Justice Association

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Formerly of Babbitt, Johnson, Osborne & Le Clainche

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