How do medical liens work?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do medical liens work?

Earlier this year, I was involved in an auto accident for which I was not my fault. I suffered from back pain, which also led to some testicle pain. I received a call from the insurance company to confirm my settlement amount. However, she found a lien on my account. How does this work? Originally I was offered $5000 for pain and suffering. I’m not certain if it is the hospital or my insurance Medicaid, that filed the lien on my claim. Will they pay everyone else off or do they give me the award? Am I responsible for paying back my insurer, etc.?

Asked on September 8, 2016 under Personal Injury, Colorado


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You are responsible for paying the lien(s) out of the settlement.   Therefore, the settlement amount has to be sufficient to compensate you and pay the lien(s).
Medicaid is entitled to reimbursement, but the amount is negotiable.
Other liens may be negotiable.
If a doctor or another party has a lien, it means the party is paid out of the settlement for the medical treatment that was provided.
Health insurance companies usually require reimbursement.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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