Hospital Liens in DC

When a person is injured as a result of another party’s negligence and seeks medical treatment for the injuries, the party responsible for medical treatment payments has the right to assert a hospital lien for reimbursement of the medical cost paid. Typically, DC hospital liens arise when a person does not have health insurance and the health insurance carrier of the at fault party pays the medical bills. Generally, this reimbursement is paid from the recovery of damages that the injured person is awarded in the personal injury case.

What are Liens?

A lien is a law that gives an individual the right to keep another person’s possession(s) and/or property until the debt that is owed the individual is paid off. 

DC hospital liens are enacted when medical bills are incurred due to the negligence of another party. There will be no liens enacted if there is no negligent party. Once an injured person is aware that a lien is being asserted, he or she has a legal obligation to preserve that lien.

In a Personal Injury Case

DC hospital liens affect a personal injury case in number of different ways. Anyone who has been injured as a result of the negligence of another and asserts a personal injury claim should be aware that he or she will most likely be responsible for reimbursing the costs of medical expenses incurred. Generally, such reimbursement is unavoidable after recovery of damages. Therefore, anyone who intends to initiate a claim is unable to ignore the issue of a lien in the hopes of obtaining recovery. Instead, the injured person must attend to the lien and try his or her best to minimize the payments to the lien holder in order to maximize his or her personal recovery.

Often times, during the course of settlement negotiations, the injured person would like to know what monetary recovery he or she will take home after all fees and costs are paid. Therefore, the attorney must advise the client on what amount of the recovery satisfies the mandatory reimbursement of the DC hospital liens. Almost always, if the medical liens are significant, such liens would overtly affect the take home compensation of the injured person and may have a dramatic effect on claim resolution.

Benefits of an Attorney

It is beneficial for an injured person to have a lawyer handle the payment of DC hospital liens because the attorney understands the requirements of said liens and can also work towards reducing the liens in order to maximize the recovery of the injured person. An experienced personal injury attorney has handled numerous types of liens in the past and therefore would draw upon his or her experience in handling this issue in order to maximize the recovery of the injured person. In personal injury cases, it is important for an injured person to focus on their recovery, and having a legal advocate who is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and has dealt with similar situations before, is an unparalleled benefit.