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How Are Medical Liens Handled in West Virginia Personal Injury Claims?

Published on Nov 28, 2018 at 9:51 am in Car Accidents.

Personal injury claims are supposed to help those who were wrongfully injured and suffered financial losses because of someone else’s negligence. However, the process can be difficult and take a long time.

For example, let’s say a distracted driver hit you in an auto accident. You had to go to the hospital, will need treatment, and can’t return to work until you’ve recovered. Before your settlement, you may be dealing with hefty medical bills depending on the extent of your injuries. In these moments, you need someone by your side. A dependable West Virginia car accident lawyer from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC will stand up for your rights.

Medical Liens Explained

When someone suffers from serious injuries, their medical bills can be astronomical. They may not have the resources to get the treatment they need. In these circumstances, the healthcare providers can place a lien on your case. This means that the adjustments to medical bills that would normally apply based on your contract with your insurance company will not have to be made and your healthcare providers won’t have to make those adjustments.

In typical situations, there can be an agreement between the medical provider and health insurance provider that you will get a discount on the medical services provided to you. When a medical lien is applied, the discount doesn’t happen. Instead, they bill you for the full amount of the service because they’re placing that lien on your personal injury settlement.

For those who do not have health insurance or who have a high deductible, a lien means that medical bills won’t pile up because the medical provider’s lien applies to your case, instead of sending you bills. You can focus on getting treatment without the stress of the bills harming your credit or worrying about a lawsuit.

If there is a lien placed against your settlement, then that is taken into consideration when determining the settlement amount. Remember, the medical bills won’t appear with the discount, they will be full price. This can drive the settlement to be demanded and offered at a higher price.

Lien amounts aren’t permanent. Your attorney can also work to reduce them. This is especially applicable if the lien would take up most of your settlement. You should be able to recover financially with your settlement and cover the medical bills and what you need for your recovery.

Medical Liens in West Virginia Personal Injury Claims

If you’ve been injured and have recovered from a personal injury case, your health care may demand reimbursement for your medical expenses, and they are perfectly within their rights to do so. While the concept of a lien may still be confusing, think of it this way. You received a settlement and held the liable party accountable for their actions. The insurance company had to pay money to cover your care because of the liable party’s actions. Since your money came from the liable party, the lien on your settlement is the insurance company’s way of getting reimbursed.

In West Virginia, there is a made whole law. This means that the injured party needs to receive their compensation before liens are dealt with. If this happens and the lien would severely affect your settlement, you do have the right to claim that you weren’t fully compensated for your injuries. Your will have to show that you were not “made whole” by the settlement, and it may prevent you from paying back the health insurance company.

To determine if you were made whole or not, you may have to go to a court hearing where they will settle your claim’s true value. If the true value was more than your settlement, then that can be applied to how you repay the lien.

Get Help from a West Virginia Lawyer

A car accident can completely upend your life. You need to be able to rely on the legal representatives that are fighting for you. The personal injury lawyers at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC are dedicated to helping those who have been wrongfully injured. We know how dealing with insurance companies and claims can be overwhelming, but that’s where we come in.

Our lawyers are well-versed in car accident claims and know how to deal with liens when they apply to your case. It’s important to get started on your claim as soon as possible. For a free consultation, get in touch with us today.