Types of Liens in a Massachusetts Personal Injury Case
Liens can take many forms in the context of a personal injury case. They include:
Perhaps you were unable to immediately pay for medical treatment you received for your injuries. If so, hospitals, doctors, and other such medical institutions and professionals could place a lien on your settlement. This is to provide notice that a portion of your recovery will be applied to your outstanding medical bills once you receive the funds.
Health insurance and workers’ compensation insurance liens:
Your health insurance may have provided benefits for medical treatment after your accident. Thus, your insurance provider may also place a lien on your settlement. Similarly, if workers’ compensation insurance provided benefits, your employer’s workers’ comp insurance provider may place a lien on your settlement as well.
An additional lien may be placed on your personal injury settlement or award if you received Medicare, Medicaid, or other such government benefits for treatment related to your injuries.
It is important to note that some liens are “automatic”, while others require that notice be given by the lienholder.
These are some of the most common examples. A Massachusetts personal injury attorney can answer your questions and help you better understand whether any other types of liens might impact your settlement.
How a Personal Injury Settlement Lien Affects Your Compensation
A lien is one of many potential factors that could theoretically reduce the amount of total compensation you receive once you settle a personal injury case with an insurance company or are awarded damages in court.
For example, perhaps an insurance company settles your case by agreeing to pay you $50,000. However, maybe you have outstanding medical bills, and a hospital or insurer has given notice of a $10,000 lien on your settlement. If so, the lien amount would be deducted from your net recovery, after attorney’s fees and case costs.
That said, in some instances, liens don’t need to be satisfied in full. This may occur if, for example, the total amount of compensation a victim settles for is less than the amount necessary to satisfy all liens. If this were to happen, it might be possible to have the liens reduced or even waived. Regardless of the outcome, a skilled attorney may be able to negotiate liens to ensure that you achieve a maximum recovery.
That’s not to say this is guaranteed or even likely to happen. However, a qualified personal injury attorney could explore this option and fight to have your liens reduced or waived if there is an opportunity to do so. However, it’s also worth noting that having representation from an experienced professional could potentially help you secure more compensation than you might if you were to represent yourself, increasing the likelihood that your compensation will satisfy all liens in the first place.
Contact a Boston Personal Injury Attorney
At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., we appreciate that navigating a personal injury case can be complex, particularly when liens and other such factors are involved. That’s why our Boston personal injury lawyers strive to ensure our customers thoroughly understand all aspects of their cases, while also providing them with the quality representation they deserve. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at (617) 742-1900.