If you suffer injuries in a car crash, getting the compensation you need as quickly as possible is crucial. Yet, if the hospital that treats you places a lien, it can delay the process. On top of that, it can reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
Texas law allows hospitals to place liens to stop them from bearing the cost of treatment when someone is uninsured. Unfortunately, some hospitals use this to their advantage and your disadvantage.
Why will a hospital lien delay settlement in a car crash?
The lien gives the hospital the first right to any money awarded in a settlement. Because hospital administration can be a slow process, it might take them a long time to send the necessary forms to the insurer making the payment. Meanwhile, you are left injured and without access to the funds that you need.
Why can a hospital lien reduce the injury settlement you receive
A lien will not affect the amount awarded. It may alter the final amount that reaches you. Hospitals often claim for higher amounts than they should. They know they can often get away with it. The insurer has to pay that amount out regardless, so they are less concerned about who gets it and less concerned with checking the figures the hospital submits.
When you have healthcare insurance, the hospital should claim against that. Yet, they know the health care insurer will examine their costs more closely to restrict how much it must pay. Therefore, hospitals sometimes put in a lien instead of claiming against your health care insurance as they should.
Getting the money, you are entitled to without unnecessary delay may require you to challenge the hospital lien. Understanding how to do that will be crucial to a satisfactory outcome.