Personal Injury Law: What is a Medical Lien?
March 25, 2021 – Matt Albrecht
Following a serious accident, you can seek financial compensation from the negligent party to pay for medical care. Of course, medical attention is needed immediately. Navigating the personal injury claims process can take awhile. A healthcare provider may offer treatment now—placing a medical lien on a portion of your eventual settlement or verdict. Here, our Spokane personal injury attorney highlights three key things you should know about medical liens and your personal injury claims.
A Provider or Insurer May Try to Place a Lien on Your Settlement or Verdict
In Washington, injured victims can seek financial compensation for economic and non-economic damages, including medical bills, rehabilitative treatments and therapies, lost wages, pain and suffering, and permanent physical impairment.
When a medical lien is placed on your personal injury settlement/verdict, it means that the party that initially covered for the medical treatment—whether your health insurance company or the provider—is seeking a full or partial reimbursement once your case is resolved.
In some cases, a lien is a good thing as it enables an injured victim who lacks funds or adequate health insurance coverage to access the immediate medical care that they need to make the best possible physical and mental recovery.
Washington State Law Regulates Medical Liens
Medical liens and the related concept of insurance subrogation are governed by Washington state law. Under 60.44 RCW, there are strict rules and regulations regarding medical liens. The law allows providers to place a medical lien to obtain compensation for services rendered out of a personal injury/settlement or verdict.
Notably, Washington law strictly caps medical liens at 25 percent of the total recovery. As noted in the statute “liens for service rendered to any one person as a result of any one accident or event shall not exceed twenty-five percent of the amount of an award, verdict…or settlement.” In other words, there is a limit on how much a doctor/provider can claim directly out of a personal injury award. That being said, the medical provider could still take action to get reimbursement.
An Attorney Can Help You Maximize Your Total Financial Compensation
Personal injury claims are complicated—especially if you suffered serious injuries and required extensive medical treatment. You are entitled to financial compensation to pay your medical bills and cover other costs. A personal injury settlement should address the actual costs you endured as a consequence of the accident. An experienced Spokane, WA personal injury attorney will help you build a case focused on getting the best possible outcome. This means ensuring that your rights are respected and your financial interests are fully protected. Medical liens should be accounted for when negotiating a personal injury settlement.
Call Our Spokane, WA Personal Injury Lawyer Today
At Albrecht Law PLLC, our Eastern Washington personal injury attorneys believe that every client deserves personal attention and top quality legal advice and support. If you have any questions about medical liens and your personal injury settlement, we are here to help. Contact our firm now for a no cost review of your case. We represent clients in Spokane County and beyond.
Ask a Question, Describe Your Situation,
Request a Consultation
5105 E 3rd Ave, Suite 101 Spokane Valley, WA 99212
Your Information Is Safe With Us
We respect your privacy. The information you provide will be used to answer your question or to schedule an appointment if requested.