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What Is a Lien?

Jed Dietrich, Esq., Distinguished as an American Institute of Trial Lawyers Litigator of the Year, and His Top Rated Team of Attorneys at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C., Recognized as an American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Personal Injury Law Firm, Battle to Obtain the Best Result for Accident Victims in Buffalo, New York.


What is a lien?At the Dietrich Law Firm P.C., we pride ourselves on helping victims and their loved ones successfully navigate through their entire personal injury claims from beginning to end. We work to ease our clients’ uncertainties by managing every legal aspect of their cases. Financial awards are designed primarily to compensate victims for all of the damages caused by the accident. Often, victims are surprised to learn that third-parties can assert claims against their personal injury compensation. A lien is a legal claim to reimbursement or payment that can be placed against the proceeds of an insurance claim or lawsuit. Compensation is primarily intended to restore victims to their pre-accident conditions. As such, when accident victims recover compensation for medical expenses that another party paid, that third-party is entitled to be reimbursed. Third-parties that impose liens often include the victim’s insurance company, treating hospital, and various government agencies.

The Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s battle-tested team possesses the knowledge and skills to thoroughly investigate your accident and ensure that you receive the highest possible compensation for your injuries. Over the years, we have successfully represented countless accident victims. Although our veteran attorneys are unable to turn back the hands of time, we can at least ensure that your recovery is much less complicated. Since 1999, Jed Dietrich, Esq., acclaimed as an Attorney and Practice Magazine’s Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney, has exclusively fought for justice in serious personal injury cases. Jed Dietrich, Esq. has battled to obtain over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for victims who were injured in Buffalo, New York; Rochester, New York; Niagara Falls, New York; throughout New York State and beyond. Our commitment to exceeding your expectations and delivering an extraordinary outcome is what sets us apart from the competition. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. offers complimentary lawsuit evaluations and consultations. Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his seasoned team of attorneys would be honored to speak with you about your potential claim. Our best of the best team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (716) 839-3939, or by filling out the online consultation form. We are the aggressive, tenacious, and hardworking personal injury lawyers who are ready to fight for the compensation that you deserve!

Who Can Assert Liens in Personal Injury Lawsuits?

Billing statementAs mentioned above, a lien is a third-party’s legal right to take part of the proceeds from a personal injury claim. During lawsuits, third-parties can file lien requests, which judges may approve or deny. When a judge approves a lien, the party holding the lien gets paid from the victim’s compensation before any money is disbursed. It is important to note that third-parties can even put liens on a victim’s compensation that is not related to his or her injury. For example, liens regarding a victim’s unpaid taxes or child support. The four most common sources of liens relating to injuries include:

  1. Healthcare Providers: An accident victim’s healthcare provider is perhaps the most obvious source of liens. Hospitals, doctors, and specialty clinics commonly treat victims requiring emergency medical care. Sometimes hospitals have victims sign letters of protection or lien agreements before providing treatment. According to §189(11), hospital liens are valid for 10 years.
  2. Private Insurance Providers: When a victim uses his or her private auto insurance or medical insurance to pay for medical treatment following an accident, the insurance company can place a lien on proceeds of any recovery to be reimbursed. The lien should only be related to medical care for injuries suffered due to the accident.
  3. Government Agency Benefit Providers: If Medicaid, Medicare, or the Veterans Affairs covered the victim’s medical bills after sustaining an injury, they would likely request a lien on the case proceeds. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administers these types of subrogation liens. While victims only have to pay if the CMS requests payment, these liens take priority over all other liens. There is a six-year statute of limitations on CMS liens.
  4. Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Employees that get injured at work are likely to utilize workers’ compensation insurance. When an injured employee files a claim against a negligent third-party, even if the injury happened in the scope of employment, the workers’ compensation carrier is entitled to place a lien on compensation to cover sums paid for the victim’s medical treatment and indemnity payments.

WERE YOU, OR A LOVED ONE, SEVERELY INJURED BECAUSE OF SOMEONE ELSE’S NEGLIGENCE IN BUFFALO, NIAGARA FALLS, ROCHESTER, OR OTHER PARTS OF NEW YORK STATE?

CALL JED DIETRICH, ESQ. AND HIS TOP RATED AND HIGHLY EXPERIENCED TEAM OF BUFFALO, NEW YORK PERSONAL INJURY ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS AT (716) 839-3939 NOW TO OBTAIN THE HELP THAT YOU DESERVE!

Negotiating a Lien

Once a lien is approved by the judge, it is considered a legally binding debt that must be paid back before a victim can receive his or her compensation. As a result, liens can make a huge difference in how much take-home money a victim will obtain from the recovery. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s veteran attorneys understand nothing is more frustrating for victims than having to forfeit a big chunk of their compensation to pay liens. We have vast experience negotiating the reduction of liens to provide a larger percentage of compensation directly to our clients. Our battled-tested attorneys will do everything in our power to get lien holders to accept substantially smaller amounts than the face values of their liens. For instance, we know that insurance companies rarely pay a medical provider’s total bill. We will thoroughly examine the insurance company’s lien to see if it accurately indicates their payment. Additionally, lienholders will often lower their claims to provide more leeway to negotiate settlements. That is because lienholders prefer to recoup their payments faster and without the risk of losing at trial.

As part of our representation, the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. assumes all costs related to filing and pursuing your case. You will never pay any out-of-pocket costs or up-front expenses to retain the legal services of our highly qualified lawyers. We will only seek a fee after your case is settled or successfully tried. Insurance companies have paid Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his elite team of Buffalo, New York personal injury attorneys at least $1,000,000.00 or more 38 times to compensate his clients for their serious personal injuries. The Dietrich Legal Team will zealously battle to obtain the compensation that you deserve for all of your injuries. This may include compensation for your past and future medical expenses , lost time from work, diminished future earning capacity, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, pain and suffering (caused by your injury, as well as treatment and recovery), permanent disability suffered, costs to repair or replace damaged property, and any other unforeseen damages. Call Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his elite team today at (716) 839-3939.


Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at (716) 839-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Buffalo, 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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