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What Is a Hospital Lien?

When a person suffers serious injuries during a car accident, they frequently face the stress of hospital bills afterward. Insurance claims and lawsuits can take months or years to settle. However, car accident survivors have hospital bills to pay, whether or not they’ve received compensation from their car accident claim. So, how do patients pay¬†for hospital bills in the meantime? Hospital liens are one of the most common ways that Pennsylvanians handle medical bills before receiving compensation.

A lien is when a party agrees to receive payment from a future amount of money that another party receives. Though liens are most typically placed on property, hospitals use them to guarantee payment if a patient anticipates compensation for their injuries. In Pennsylvania, a hospital lien is typically used when a person’s car insurance does not have enough coverage for their medical costs. Medical liens are typically only possible when a person was involved with any other type of accident besides a car accident. However, because Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, there are certain circumstances in which a lien may be placed of medical expenses caused by a car accident.

Medical Liens for Car Accidents in Pennsylvania

It is illegal for car insurance companies to place liens for hospital bills caused by accidents. However, if the cost of treatment exceeds a car insurance policy’s limits, then a person’s health insurer might be able to place a medical lien on their eventual payout. Certain HMOs and employer-provided health plans might be subject to liens. That's often why attorneys suggest getting an auto insurance policy with high medical coverage.

Medical Liens & Subrogation

When a person owes medical expenses after an accident, a hospital may place liens on the debt or pursue compensation through something known a subrogation. Subrogation describes when a hospital seeks payment directly from the party responsible for the injured person’s medical needs. Subrogation is less common simply because insurance companies and hospitals have the potential to recover more through a lien. Liens enable them to charge inflated prices for care, so they most typically favor using them over subrogation.

Have You Received a Lien? Contact HHR Today at (888) 498-3023.

Hospital liens are confusing and require the help of an attorney to work through. If you’ve received a lien, it’s important that you speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer from Handler, Henning & Rosenberg before signing it. Sometimes liens are not valid, and having a lawyer means you'll be protected from unfair terms.

Liens are not valid if:

  • The lien was not properly addressed to the recipient.
  • The lien was not filed in the recorder’s office of the hospital’s county within 180 days of a patient’s release.

Since 1922, HHR has helped the residents of Pennsylvania through some of the most challenging moments of their lives. We have won tens of millions of dollars for our clients and are ready to help you work through issues regarding your medical care. Call us today for a free consultation at (888) 498-3023. Our team fights for clients, protects their rights, and never settles for less than they deserve!

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