A lien is a request for reimbursement. Any person or company that has helped to cover one or more of an accident victim’s expenses deserves to be reimbursed, once the victim’s compensation becomes available.
Who might hold such a lien?
• The victim’s health insurance company
• Medicare or Medicaid
How much money do lien-holders normally request?
The amount varies. It usually equals more than 25% of the sum of money spent on the victim. In some cases, it equals 100% of that particular sum of money. Sometimes, a health insurance company agrees to negotiate the size of the lien/reimbursement package.
What could happen if a lien were ignored?
According to the law, a lien must be paid before compensation or money from a court-awarded judgment gets sent to a lawyer’s client. Personal Injury Lawyer Huntsville that has chosen to ignore a given lien risk being sued. If Medicare of Medicaid had held the ignored request for reimbursement, then the benefits meant for the lawyer’s client could be in jeopardy.
How do lawyers approach the task of negotiating with a lien-holder, such as a health insurance company?
Smart lawyers always conduct those negotiations while the amount of money that will be going to the lawyer’s client remains uncertain. In other words, the client might be negotiating with a car or home insurance company, or the client might be the plaintiff in a court trial.
The lien-holder does not have access to any details, regarding how strong a case the client’s attorney has been able to make. Hence, the same attorney has the ability to suggest that the client’s case is weak, and that he or she should not expect to receive much money.
After hearing those suggestive comments, the lien-holder could well decide against seeking a relatively large reimbursement package. It could be that the attorney’s comments had implied that no lien-holder had a sound reason to hope for delivery of such a package. That implication could reduce the amount of money being sought by any holder of a lien.
Once any of the lien-holders had agreed to accept a certain amount of money, the client’s attorney would seek to create a written and signed document, one that stated the agreed-upon amount. So, once the promised award had been received, the lawyer could pay the relatively small reimbursement package.
All of the above methods are perfectly legal. The lien-holders do not get cheated of money that has been promised to them. Indeed, the attorneys’ ability to work within the legal system has managed to provide them with a way to gain more money for certain of their clients.