What Ohio Injury Victims Need To Know About Liens on Personal Injury Settlements

claim form for health insurance with credit cards
claim form for health insurance with credit cards

There are many things that affect the value of a personal injury settlement, such as the severity of your injury and how long the injury is likely to affect you.

Liens placed on your personal injury settlement are another factor you may not have considered. For example, if you used your medical insurance to cover treatment costs, your health insurance company may place a lien on your settlement to get reimbursed. Repayment is necessary to avoid you getting paid twice for the same treatment, called double-dipping. You do not have to worry about these matters, as Friedman, Domiano & Smith are well-versed in negotiating these liens.

Below, Friedman, Domiano and Smith’s experienced personal injury lawyers in Cleveland discuss what injured victims need to know about liens on personal injury settlements.

If you have questions about your injury claim, we may be able to help. We have obtained millions for people in situations like yours.

Call to schedule a free legal consultation today. Phone: 216-621-0070.

What Types of Liens Could Be Placed on a Personal Injury Settlement?

A lien is a claim against another party’s assets. Liens are typically used as collateral to satisfy a debt. For example, sometimes there are liens on real estate or personal property.

In personal injury cases, liens can be placed on the settlement you receive from the liable insurance company. While these liens might affect the amount of compensation you ultimately receive, the attorneys at Friedman, Domiano & Smith will work hard to negotiate these liens.

Additional parties that might place a lien on your Ohio personal injury settlement may include:

  • Medical providers: Hospitals and medical professionals may place liens for unpaid bills. For example, victims might not be able to pay their portion of a bill for an expensive procedure, like surgery. In some ways, a lien benefits the victim because it delays collection of the bill. Many people cannot afford to make monthly payments on costly medical bills.
  • Health insurance companies: If your insurer covers medical expenses up front, they may seek reimbursement from your settlement. They do not want to pay for treatment of an injury that may be covered by the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. Under Ohio law, health insurance companies are entitled to repayment of the cost of treatment for injuries caused by another’s negligence.
  • Medicaid and Medicare: Government health insurance programs can also claim a portion of your settlement to cover medical expenses.
  • Child support agencies: Injured victims who have outstanding child support payments are likely to see a lien placed on their settlement to collect the payments.

Liens like these are applied before your lawyer reaches a settlement, however, your lawyer is aware of all pending liens. The party that creates the lien wants to ensure it receives payment for the services provided or for outstanding child support payments.

What Is Subrogation?

Subrogation is a legal concept that comes into play when someone besides the at-fault party pays for a cost associated with an injury. Subrogation refers to an insurer pursuing a third party for damages they caused that resulted in an insurance loss. Essentially, if your insurance company pays for your medical bills after an injury, they can seek reimbursement from the at-fault party (or their insurer) during or after the settlement of your claim. Subrogation ensures that the responsible party ultimately pays your expenses, not your insurance company.

When Are Liens Paid Off?

Liens are typically resolved at the time of settlement. Before you receive any compensation from the settlement, all liens must be paid off. After liens and attorney fees are taken care of, you will receive the remainder of the settlement. 

What Happens if Your Case Goes To Court?

Most personal injury cases do not end up in the courtroom. However, sometimes lawyers recommend going to court because there is a good chance of securing more compensation that way.

If this happens, liens must be included in the lawsuit. If your lawyer secures a favorable jury verdict and you are awarded compensation, liens will be paid off from that compensation.

How an Experienced Lawyer Can Help You With a Lien

There are many benefits to hiring an experienced lawyer for a personal injury claim, especially when liens are placed on your settlement.  

  • Evaluating and verifying liens: Your lawyer can review all lien claims to ensure they are legitimate and accurately reflect the services that were provided. At Friedman, Domiano and Smith, we want you to have as much compensation as possible to help you with the aftermath of an injury.
  • Negotiating with lienholders: Your lawyer can negotiate with lienholders to reduce the amount you owe, which can result in you receiving more compensation than you would have otherwise. Sometimes lienholders are very receptive to reduce the value of a lien, as it may help facilitate a settlement agreement.
  • Clearly explaining how liens affect your settlement: We provide clear, understandable guidance on how liens affect your settlement and your options for managing them.
  • Drafting a letter of protection: Your lawyer may be able to draft a letter of protection so you can continue to receive treatment while the legal process is going on. Sometimes these letters are a necessity, because hospitals will not provide treatment without a letter.

Having Trouble With the Insurance Company? Call Friedman, Domiano and Smith

If you are navigating the aftermath of a personal injury and are concerned about how liens might affect your settlement, contact Friedman, Domiano and Smith. We have decades of experience representing the injured in Northeast Ohio.

We strive to secure the best possible outcome for your case, including managing complex issues like liens.

Call to schedule your free legal consultation today: 216-621-0070.


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