Guide to Medical Liens in Personal Injury Cases

A medical lien is a demand for reimbursement of paid medical bills that is placed against a person who caused the accident. Also known as subrogation, once incurred, your health insurance company will seek reimbursement from the responsible party.  Subrogation is a contractual  right held by your health  insurance company. It allows it to pursue recovery of paid accident related medical bills from a negligent third party.

When you are in an accident, you will give your health insurance information to all the  healthcare providers. You will then contact your health insurance company advising them about the accident. After that, you will receive information from your health insurance company concerning the subrogation lien. Out of the settlement, you will reimburse your health insurance company for its outstanding balance. This amount is always negotiable, requiring certain information to be provided to your health insurance company for a compromise. Once provided, you can then negotiate a reduction of the outstanding lien.

Your health insurance company has a time limit for pursuit of its medical lien. That time limit depends on the state’s statute of limitations. Once that limit has passed, the insurance company will not be able to proceed with collection. If you are unable to settle your case, you will need to include your health insurance company in a lawsuit. It will usually have its own attorney who will defend the company’s interests.

As you can see, this area of the law is very complex. Always confer with a personal injury attorney to understand your legal rights making sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

About the Authors: Sawan & Sawan is a multi-generational, family owned law firm practicing law in the areas of car accidents, truck accidents, and other personal injury. Our firm practices law in Ohio, Georgia, and Michigan.

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Dennis P. Sawan

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Chris Sawan


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