Rochester, New York, Personal Injury: What Is A Lien?

Jed Dietrich, Esq., is Recognized as a Best Lawyer of America. He Has Spent His Entire Career Standing Up for The Victims of Negligence. The Dietrich Law Firm, P.C., Could Help You Secure the Compensation You Need to Move Past a Painful Rochester Personal Injury Accident.

Claim of Lien Personal injury claims do not always end once the court has ordered an award or you have reached a settlement with the at-fault party's insurance company. If you have any outstanding debt, your creditors-perhaps the hospital that treated you or even your health care provider-could place a lien on your settlement. A lien, or a claim against your assets, needs to be resolved before you can receive any money from the settlement or lawsuit.

The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. understands how devastating a serious accident can be. You may be left unable to work yet saddled with medical debt. When you have been injured by another person's misconduct, you should not have to forfeit your deserved compensation. You do not have to surrender your right to a personal injury award. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. has helped our clients secure and protect more than $175 million in damages-money they could use to pay off their medical debt, seek superior medical care, and begin the difficult task of moving past a serious Rochester accident. Please send us a message online or call us at 585-939-3939 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.

Liens On Personal Injury Settlements

Application for Certificate of Discharge A lien is a legal claim against assets used by a third party to recover an outstanding debt. Outside of the courtroom, liens are often used as collateral: if you have ever financed an automobile, you likely had a lien on your vehicle. A lien is effectively a guarantee of repayment. If you cannot afford to cover the costs associated with a purchase, loan, or service, the lien-holder can assert their right to retrieve and withhold the collateral.

Banks are not the only entity entitled to hold or collect a lien. A personal injury settlement could be subject to a lien, too. If you sought medical care in the aftermath of your Rochester accident, your costs might have been covered by:

  1. Your automobile insurance company;
  2. A private health care provider;
  3. A government benefits program; or
  4. A hospital.

Since settlement proceeds and court-ordered awards are primarily intended to restore an accident victim to their pre-injury condition, your insurance company or another interested party could seek reimbursement for the payments they made on your behalf. Fortunately, the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. could help you keep your compensation safe from unreasonable, inflated, or otherwise unfair creditor claims. Please call us today at 585-939-3939 to discuss your options for legal relief.

Who Can File A Personal Injury Settlement Lien?

Personal injury liens usually relate to medical expenses borne by:

  1. The Automobile Insurance Company: If your automobile insurance policy covers the costs of your post-accident care, they could file a lien to recover their losses. However, the company's claim is subject to strict limitations and should never exceed the actual amount of money they paid for your accident-related injuries.
  2. A Private Health Care Provider: Even if you require emergency treatment, you may still be obligated to repay the costs of care from any eventual settlement. Hospitals, physicians, and private specialty clinics often require patients to approve lien agreements.
  3. A Government Benefits Program: If you receive benefits from Medicaid, Medicare, or the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid could place a subrogation lien on your settlement. While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid may never request repayment, a C.M.S. lien takes precedence over all other creditor requests. Government liens can pose significant challenges because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have up to six years to file a claim for reimbursement.
  4. Workers Compensation: Employees who sustained serious injuries at work are typically entitled to workers' compensation benefits, a form of government-subsidized insurance. If you have filed a worker's compensation claim, the New York State Workers Compensation Board could place a lien for any compensation it believes it is owed for disbursed medical and indemnity benefits.

Most personal injury liens are placed by insurance companies, government benefits agencies, and other health care providers. However, New York State law allows third-party liens under certain limited circumstances. If you have past-due child support payments or unpaid taxes, the state could enforce a lien against your settlement.

While you may not be able to avoid paying a lien, you are not necessarily obliged to pay the amount requested by the creditor. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. has years of experience negotiating liens. We know insurance companies and other claimants sometimes request more money than they need. Our experienced attorneys could review the validity of each lien against your settlement, protecting the compensation you need and the recovery you deserve. Please call us at 585-939-3939 to schedule your free consultation.



Your Options For Negotiating Or Contesting A Lien

The court has the authority to enforce a lien against your settlement, but that does not mean that the lien amount cannot be contested. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. could help you negotiate, contest, or negate a lien by:

  1. Examining the Lien: Insurance companies rarely pay market rates for medical services. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C.'s attorneys could carefully review your insurance company's records and expenses to see whether they are trying to overcharge you. For example, we could contest the amount of a lien and negotiate a payment that reflects the insurance company's actual expenditure.
  2. Negotiating a Better Payment: The overwhelming majority of personal injury claims are resolved through negotiation. Oftentimes, insurance companies, hospitals, and private practitioners are willing to reduce their claims to ensure that you have the means to reach a satisfactory settlement. After all, a court trial is a risk, and most for-profit businesses would prefer incurring a modest loss if it means they are guaranteed even partial repayment.
  3. Challenging its Validity: You are not obligated to accept a lien. If you believe that a creditor's claim is false, misleading, or placed in bad faith, our attorneys could help appraise its merits and, if necessary, ask the court to adjudicate it.

Even when you face a lien that puts your settlement at risk, you have options to preserve your compensation. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. takes its commitment to service seriously. Our battle-tested team of legal professionals will do everything in their power to protect your legal recovery, even if it means standing up to a big insurance company, Medicare, or the state. You do not have to accept a catastrophic loss. Please call us at 585-939-3939 today to speak to an attorney and schedule your free consultation.

Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 585-939-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious, and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Rochester, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!

Client Reviews
I am a medical doctor and have worked with many of the best lawyers in Buffalo and I can say without question that Jed Dietrich is the only lawyer I would trust with my injury case in Buffalo New York. B.O.
Dogged, Determined, and Dead-set on getting you the Maximum settlement for your injuries! T.F.
No one will work harder, smarter or better; I have retained Jed and he obtained the best result for my case. D.P.
The definition of an "A" type personality-exactly who I would want to represent me in a serious personal injury case. E.S.
Jed is a Master in the courtroom without an equal. S.C.
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