Hospital Liens in Texas
If you get badly injured in a serious accident, there is a good chance you are going to wind up with a large bill from a hospital emergency room. This is particularly true if you suffered an injury that requires surgery to correct (e.g., knee injuries, torn ligaments, foot injuries, head wounds, etc.). If you have health insurance, you could still be forced to pay a massive deductible and/or co-insurance. If you do not have health insurance, you will be on the hook for the entire medical bill. Unfortunately, many Texans lack health insurance. Surveys indicate that more than four million Texas residents do not have any form of health insurance coverage, according to the Texas Tribune.
What is a hospital lien? According to the Chapter 55 of the Texas Property Code, if you get admitted to the hospital emergency room due to the negligence of the other driver, then the hospital can file a lien to be paid out of a personal injury settlement. In order to file the hospital lien in Texas, you need to fulfill two conditions.
- First, the accident should be caused by another person’s negligence according to the Sec .003 of Chapter 55 of the Texas Property Code.
- The injured should be admitted to the hospital or hospitals within 72 hours of the injury, according to Sec 55.002 of Chapter 55 of the Texas Property Code.
When these conditions are fulfilled, the hospital gets the right to file the lien against the settlement amount you receive from a personal injury case. However, if you are a worker in Texas and get injured on the job, then according to the Sec 55.003, the hospital cannot attach a lien to a worker’s compensation claim. Whenever a lien is attached, it only gets filed against the third party’s insurance company.
How a Hospital Lien can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim
If you have a lien filed against you by the hospital, it can impact your personal injury claim because you need to factor in the cost of reimbursing the hospital in settlement negotiations. For example, if the other driver’s auto insurance adjuster offers you a $25,000 settlement, but you have a $10,000 medical lien, then you need to deduct $10,000 from that settlement amount.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Helps
Hiring an attorney to handle your car accident injury case can be extremely beneficial since he or she can assist with negotiating on your hospital lien. Yes, you read that correctly. Your attorney can negotiate with the hospital and possibly get them to accept a reduced amount, depending on the amount that you recover through the personal injury claim process.
Speak to an Experienced Houston Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one was badly injured in a car crash in Houston or elsewhere in Texas, do not delay in speaking to an attorney. As you can tell from the information above, an attorney can be a tremendous asset during this difficult time. The experienced and skilled car accident injury lawyers with Michael P. Fleming and Associates are ready to help today 713-221-6800.