In 1933, the Texas legislature passed the “Hospital Lien Statute.” It was designed to relieve hospitals of financial burdens in providing care to victims of accidents.
If you were injured in a car accident, treated at a hospital, and then received a hospital lien in the mail, read on. We’ll explain what hospital liens are and how to get rid of them.
What Is a Hospital Lien?
A hospital lien is also known as Chapter 55 of the Texas Property Code.
Were you treated for a car accident injury in a hospital but unable to pay the bill? You might have received a hospital lien.
By Texas law, a hospital has a legal right to issue a lien which protects the hospital against treating car crash victims and not getting paid.
Medical provider liens must follow a strict protocol in order to be valid. The hospital must follow the requirements of the hospital lien statutes.
The lien must be filed within 180 days after you are released from the hospital. The lien must have the following information:
- Your proper name
- Your proper address
- The name and address of the hospital
- The dates of service
Why Don’t Hospitals Bill My Health Insurance?
If a hospital bills your insurance, the insurance pays a contractually adjusted amount, rather than the full amount that they billed. Hospitals hope to get paid more money by sending you a medical lien rather than by billing your insurer directly for the injury.
Unfortunately, this works against you. Hospitals tend to inflate their costs when billing for services. They do this in case they don’t get their full payment.
When a hospital lien is placed on your claim, a hospital might get that inflated bill paid in full out of your settlement amount. This can leave you with nothing.
Why Don’t Hospitals Bill the Bad Driver’s Insurance?
When you are injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you won’t be paid by the insurance company until after all of your medical expenses have been incurred.
It can be months until the bad driver’s insurance company offers a lump sum settlement to compensate you for your injury costs.
Hospitals don’t want to wait that long.
What Can I Do About a Hospital Lien?
Your best bet is contacting a preeminent law firm. Look for one focused on representing individuals who have suffered personal injury as a result of car accidents.
Injury lawyers will work to protect you from having your entire settlement go to a hospital. Your attorney may be able to get the claim reduced from the medical providers who hold a lien against your case.
We hope you now have a better understanding of what a hospital lien is. We know that after being in a car crash, the last thing you need is a hospital coming after you for money.
Contact Kastl Law today for a free consultation. We can explain hospital liens and your options in greater detail.