If you were involved in an accident that resulted in you receiving a settlement from the responsible party's insurance company, you may not be aware that you have to pay back your own insurance company for the medical bills that they paid. Here is what you need to know about health insurance liens and how they impact your injury settlement.
Liens Only Apply In Third-Party Accidents
When you sign a contract with your health insurance provider, part of the contract will state that you are responsible for paying back the expenses paid to recover from your injury if you win a personal injury settlement. It's important to know that this clause should only apply in situations where a third party is responsible for causing your accident. If you are receiving a direct payment from another party due to an injury that they caused, your insurance company is going to expect to receive the money that they paid for all your medical bills.
However, be aware that a lien will only apply to the percentage that the other party is at fault. For example, if you win a settlement where you are found to be 25% at fault and the defendant is 75% at fault, the insurance company would be able to request reimbursement for your medical bills. If you have $100,000 in medical bills, the health insurance lien may only be for $75,000 of your bills. You would not be responsible for paying the difference because you were partially at fault.
Liens May Be Negotiated
You may find yourself in a situation where your settlement amount does not cover all of your medical bills and legal fees, leaving very little for your personal compensation for pain and suffering damages. Be aware that you may have the ability to negotiate the lien that is requested by your insurance provider in this type of situation.
Insurance Providers May Go After The Third Party Themselves
If you are unsure if you will receive a large settlement for your personal injury and worry that it will result in the insurance provider taking back your compensation for your medical bills, you're likely wondering if it is worth going after the third party for your injuries. The insurance provider does have the right to sue the third party to recover their own medical bills, which can result in receiving the entire settlement amount for themselves. This means it is always advantageous for you to be the plaintiff in the lawsuit so that you can maximize your potential settlement.
For more information, contact a personal injury law service.